Music

Flashback: Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson Perform a Steamy Duet in 1976 Romance 'A Star is Born'

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Years before Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson were bringing sexual tension to new heights in the 1976 version of the musical romantic drama A Star is Born.

After considering a few superstar male leads, including Marlon Brando, Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley (whose manager, Colonel Tom Parker reportedly asked for a heap of money for the role), producers Streisand and Jon Peters found the perfect leading man in Kristofferson.

Kristofferson portrays John Norman Howard, a washed up rockstar (he denies modeling the character off of Jim Morrison) who meets Esther Hoffman (Streisand), a talented singer-songwriter. The film follows the couple's relationship as Howard's career declines and Esther's star rises.

Kristofferson won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy for his performance, while Streisand won for Best Acress in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy.

The movie's love theme, "Evergreen," won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Song of the Year. It was really the "Shallow" of its time.

Of course, Streisand and Kristofferson weren't the first to act out this story of lovesick superstars. The original A Star is Born was released in 1937 and starred Janet Gaynor  and Fredric March. The 1954 film, based on the original screenplay by Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell, starred Judy Garland and James Mason.

But Kristofferson played a pivotal role in the 2018 remake, which starred Bradley Cooper as country-rocker Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga as a rising pop star named Ally. While filming a crowd scene for the 2018 flick, Cooper appeared onstage ahead of Kristofferson's performance at the Glastonbury Festival.

"You guys were awesome, that was great -- it's my sheer pleasure to introduce Kris Kristofferson," Cooper said before leaving the stage.

Read More: Kris Kristofferson + Lisa Meyers: Inside Their 37-Year Love Story

In 2019, Streisand and Kristofferson reunited to perform their duet "Lost Inside of You" from the 1976 A Star is Born soundtrack at London's Hyde Park.

Streisand called Kristofferson "one of my favorite leading men" before inviting the music legend to the stage. It's clear the co-stars have remained close in the decades since sharing the screen.

As for their personal lives, Streisand has been married to actor James Brolin since 1998. (She was previously married to actor Elliott Gould from 1963 to 1971.) Kristofferson wed Lisa Meyers in 1983.

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2011, file photo, Kris Kristofferson, left, and Barbra Streisand present the award for album of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. It was 1976 all over again in London as Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson performed a song from their movie "A Star Is Born." Headlining British Summer Time in Hyde Park Sunday night, July 7, 2019, Streisand sang Evergreen" from the movie before calling to the stage "one of my favorite leading men."(AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Streisand released her most recent album Walls in 2018.

Kristofferson quietly retired from music and film in 2020.

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Flashback: Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson Perform a Steamy Duet in 1976 Romance 'A Star is Born'