How A Star Is Born Is (and Isn't) Based on a True Story

Now that A Star Is Born has finally graced theaters across the nation, we can officially get our entire lives and openly weep as the timeless Hollywood tale comes to life once again. Having witnessed the film, it’s pretty easy to wonder how much of it is based on the truth. After all, Lady Gaga experienced her own meteoric rise to fame barely a decade ago. Curious how much of the story was lifted from her life? Let’s go over the big similarities.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that this is the fourth iteration of the iconic film. The other three iterations stretch back a good 80 years; the original, starring Janet Gaynor, came out in 1937. There was a version with Judy Garland in 1954 and one with Barbra Streisand in 1976. It’s worth noting that every time the film is remade, the story is slightly tweaked — the original version was about two actors — and the original film doesn’t seem to be based on one single person’s life and times in Hollywood. Rather, it reads more as a myth, the kind of story that pertains to hundreds, maybe thousands of people who pave their own path in Tinseltown. It’s meant to show the not-so-glamorous underbelly of fame, and it’s always been more of an allegory than a true story.

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