December 12, 2005 12:00 PM

Forty years after her first landmark TV special, My Name is Barbra, the singer is releasing Barbra Streisand: The Television Specials, a DVD collection of her most memorable TV moments. Streisand, 63, took a break from gardening at her Malibu home to talk to K.C. Baker about the Emmy Award-winning specials (even at age 23, she had full creative control), hubby James Brolin, 65, and returning to the public eye.

Why now?

“I’m proud of them. They should have been released a long, long time ago.”

What was it like watching the old footage?

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t look at them. I know them. And I never look at my work again.”

What did your husband think?

“He remembered me [in them]. He was impressed with me during A Happening in Central Park. He said, ‘Not by what you sang, but what you said.’ ”

Does he like your movies?

“I tried to show him Nuts once and he fell asleep. Then when he saw it on a plane or on the television, he said, ‘God, that movie was good.’ It’s funny with us. I never saw Marcus Welby or Hotel. We’re not into each other in terms of our work.”

What’s next for you?

“I’m looking for something to direct, but not be in. I may do a few [concert] dates somewhere. And I’m building a new house. It’s an elegant barn and it’s driving me crazy. I might have to go to work to avoid the stress here!”

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