12/29/2008 AT 04:00 PM EST
Barbra Streisand is counted among Hollywood's royalty – but the singer is opening up about her humble beginnings.
"We never had a couch. We never had a living room," the singer/actress, who grew up living in a Brooklyn housing project, says in an interview set to air on CBS's Early Show Tuesday.
"We only had a dining room and then my grandmother and grandfather lived in one bedroom. My mother, my brother and I slept in another bedroom … Now, I love couches," says the star.
Another thing she lived without: "You know, I never had a doll – I had a hot water bottle," says Streisand.
As for how she made it from Brooklyn to Hollywood success, she says it was a hard road where she didn't have much encouragement from her family.
When she told her mother she wanted to be an actress, Streisand, 66, says her mother told her, "'You'll never make it. You're not pretty enough. You're not this enough."
Still, the singer says, "I owe her a lot because, in a sense, I was proving to my mother that this skinny, little girl, you know, unconventional looking, I suppose, could be a movie star."