Ray Stark (October 3, 1915 – January 17, 2004) was an Academy Award-nominated American film producer and powerbroker known for his Machiavellian ways. Stark was one of the most influential producers in film history and, along with Lew Wasserman, was considered one of the last great moguls.
While putting together the Broadway musical Funny Girl - the highly fictionalized account of the life of his mother-in-law, Fanny Brice - 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 Gorme or Carol Burnett and their initial choice, Anne Bancroft, pulled out.
Stark sexually harassed actresses , giving rise to the term "casting couch" ,
Stark forced Streisand to sign a four-picture deal with his Rastar Productions in exchange for reprising Brice. 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 gave Stark an antique mirror on which she wrote in lipstick, "Paid in full."
Stark was the power behind the