Ray Stark

Ray Stark

He graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey with a Bachelors degree in 1935.

He once acted as Raymond Chandler's agent.

In 1977, when actor Cliff Robertson began an investigation which revealed that Columbia president David Begelman had forged checks, Stark warned him that if he pressed onward, Begelman would commit suicide. Robertson said he would do "what a citizen should do in this situation." Begelman was sacked from Columbia but his eventual suicide many years later wasn't connected. Stark made sure Robertson was blacklisted. The story is detailed in David McClintick's book, "Indecent Exposure."

The producer of the original Broadway production of "Funny Girl" (1964), the film Funny Girl (1968), and its sequel, Funny Lady (1975). In real life, he is the son-in-law of Fanny Brice, the famous Ziegfeld entertainer whose life is depicted in those three shows.

The production company he founded in the 1960s was appropriately named: Rastar - Ra(y)star(k).

Was nominated for two Tony Awards in 1964: as Best Producer (Musical) as a producer of Best Musical nominee "Funny Girl."

While putting together "Funny Girl," its producer, David Merrick, took Stark and his wife to see an unknown singer perform at the Bon Soir in Greenwich Village. At first, the Starks balked at using Barbra Streisand, but settled for her when they couldn't get Eydie Gormé or Carol Burnett and their initial choice, Anne Bancroft, pulled out. Known for his Machiavellian ways, he forced Streisand to sign a 4-picture deal with his Rastar Productions to play Brice in Funny Girl (1968). They collaborated on The Owl and the Pussycat (1970); The Way We Were (1973) and Funny Lady (1975). But there was obvious bitterness: after Funny Lady wrapped, Streisand sent Stark an antique mirror on hich she wrote in lipstick, "Paid in full."