Being James Brolin is a considerably bigger deal these days.
Seemingly relegated to the realm of knockabout TV actors, Brolin lately has assumed the high-profile position of Barbra Streisand’s fiance.
He looks the part. Tanned, trimly built, clean-shaven and silver-haired, the 56-year-old veteran of “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and “Hotel” suddenly looks as if he could play “The Great Gatsby” in his sleep.
While waiting for his car Thursday outside the posh Ritz Carlton hotel, he agreeably revisited his great awakening.
“The whole thing changed when somebody said, ‘You’ve got to get rid of that beard and get organic.’
“You know, the whole time my hair was dyed, right? And I was afraid to give all that up.
“But the minute I did it, I felt so honest and real. And I think it just affects all of your life - how I work out, how I deal with people. Everything’s going great now.”
It was in this state that he met Streisand. They’ve been together a year now and are engaged to be married whenever the karma is properly aligned.
“We are looking for a sign that this is the right day,” he said at an earlier interview session promoting his starring role in the new syndicated action series “Pensacola: Wings of Gold.” “Something romantic.
“She eloped last time (with actor Elliot Gould). I’d like to make her a bride this time.”
Brolin is playing Marine lieutenant colonel Bill Kelly in the syndicated “Pensacola,” which will air next fall. Having paid his dues as a “tough, fearless war hero,” Kelly is assigned to train a new generation of elite fighter pilots.
“This is a wonderful toy for me - and a check - and something for me to do at this point of my life,” Brolin said. Streisand “loves the series, but you know, she wants to go party,” Brolin said.
“She loves the idea of me working. She loves the role. She thinks it has a meaning and a strength.”
She’s not likely to do a guest shot, though. The grind-it-out, racehorse world of series television isn’t her game,” he said.
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