Streisand in 1966
|Born||Barbara Joan Streisand
April 24, 1942
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Residence||Malibu, California, U.S.|
|Education||Erasmus Hall High School|
|Spouse(s)||Elliott Gould (m. 1963–71)
James Brolin (m. 1998)
|Relatives||Roslyn Kind (half-sister)
Josh Brolin (stepson)
Barbra Joan Streisand (born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. During a career spanning six decades, she has become an icon in multiple fields of entertainment, winning numerous awards. Among those are two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors award, a Peabody Award, and eleven Golden Globes. She is among only 17 entertainers who have won an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.
She is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with more than 72 million albums in the United States and with total 145 million records sold worldwide, which makes her the best-selling female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's Top Selling Artists (of albums) list. (The only female in the top ten, and the only artist outside of the rock 'n' roll genre.) 
After beginning a successful recording career in the 1960s, by the end of the decade, Streisand ventured into film. She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl, for which she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Her other films include The Owl and the Pussycat, The Way We Were, and A Star Is Born, for which she received her second Academy Award for composing the music to the picture’s main song, "Evergreen". With the release of Yentl in 1983, Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct and act in a major film. It won an Oscar for Best Score and Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Motion Picture Musical.
The RIAA and Billboard states that Streisand holds the record for the most top ten albums of any female recording artist – a total of 33 since 1963, and has released 53 Gold albums, 31 Platinum albums, and 14 Multi-Platinum albums in the United States.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Artistry and voice
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Awards
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Tours and live performances
- 9 Discography
- 10 Books
- 11 Filmography
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
Barbara Joan Streisand (see name change) was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Diana (born Ida Rosen) and Emanuel Streisand. Her mother had been a soprano singer in her youth and considered a career in music, but later became a school secretary. Her father was a high school teacher at the same school, where they first met. Streisand's family was Jewish; her paternal grandparents immigrated from Galicia (Poland–Ukraine) and her maternal grandparents from Russia, where her grandfather had been a cantor.
Her father had obtained a master's degree from City College of New York in 1928 and was considered athletic and handsome. As a student, he spent his summers outdoors, once working as a lifeguard and another hitchhiking through Canada. "He'd try anything," his sister Molly said. "He wasn't afraid of anything." He married Ida in 1930, two years after graduating, and became a highly respected educator with a focus on helping underprivileged and delinquent youth.:3
In August 1943, a few months after Barbara's first birthday, her father died suddenly at age 34 from complications from an epileptic seizure, possibly the result of a head injury years earlier.:3 The family fell into near-poverty, with her mother working as a low-paid bookkeeper. As an adult, Streisand remembered those early years as always feeling like an "outcast," explaining, "Everybody else's father came home from work at the end of the day. Mine didn't.":3 Her mother tried to make ends meet and couldn't give her daughter the attention she craved: "When I wanted love from my mother, she gave me food," Streisand says.:3
Streisand began her education at the Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva of Brooklyn when she was five. There, she was considered to be bright and extremely curious about everything, but lacked discipline, often shouting answers to questions out of turn.:3 She next entered Public School 89 in Brooklyn, and during those early school years she began watching television and going to movies. Watching the glamorous stars on the screen, she was soon entranced by acting and now hoped some day becoming an actress, partly as a means of escape: "I always wanted to be somebody, to be famous . . .You know, get out of Brooklyn.:3
Streisand became known by others in the neighborhood for having a good voice. With the other kids she remembers sitting on the stoop in front of their flat and singing: "I was considered the girl on the block with the good voice.":3 That talent became a way for her to gain attention. She made her singing debut at a PTA assembly, where she became a hit to everyone but her mother, who was mostly critical of her daughter. Young Streisand was invited to sing at weddings and summer camp, along with having an unsuccessful audition at MGM records when she was nine. By the time she was thirteen, her mother began supporting her talent, helping her make a four-song demo tape, including "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," and "You'll Never Know.":4
Although she knew her voice was good and she liked the attention, becoming an actress was her main objective. That desire was made stronger when she saw her first Broadway play, The Diary of Anne Frank, when she was fourteen. The star in the play was Susan Strasberg, whose acting she wanted to emulate if ever given the chance.:4 To help achieve that goal, Streisand began spending her spare time in the library, studying the biographies of various stage actresses such as Eleanora Duse and Sarah Bernhardt. In addition, she began reading novels and plays, including some by Shakespeare and Ibsen, and also on her own, studied the acting theories of Stanislavski and Chekhov.:4
She attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn in 1955 where she became an honor student in modern history, English, and Spanish. She also joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, where she sang with another choir member and classmate, Neil Diamond. During the summer of 1957 she got her first stage experience as a walk-on at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York. That small part was followed by a role as the kid sister in Picnic and one as a vamp in Desk Set.:4 She returned to school in Brooklyn but never took dramatic arts classes, preferring instead to gain some real world stage experience. To that end, in her sophomore year, she took a night job at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village helping backstage. When she was a senior, she rehearsed for a small part in Driftwood, a play staged in a midtown attic space.:5
At age sixteen, she graduated from Erasmus Hall in January 1959, and despite her mother's pleas that she stay out of show business, she immediately set out trying to get roles on the New York stage.:5 After renting a small flat on 48th street, in the heart of the theater district, she accepted any job she could involving the stage, and at every opportunity, she "made the rounds" of the casting offices.:5
At sixteen, and living on her own, Streisand had mostly "youthful ambition" in her favor, but she lacked the "marketable curves" needed for serious female roles. She therefore took various menial jobs to have some income. At one period, she lacked a permanent address, and found herself sleeping at the home of friends or anyplace else she could set up the army cot she carried around to save on rent expense. When desperate, she would return to her mother's flat in Brooklyn for a home-cooked meal. However, her mother would be horrified by her daughter's "gypsylike lifestyle," writes biographer Karen Swenson, and again begged her to give up trying to get into show business.:6 But Streisand took her mother's pleadings as even more reason to keep trying: "My desires were strengthened by wanting to prove to my mother that I could be a star.":6
She took a job as an usher at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater for Sound of Music, early in 1960. During the run of the play, she heard that the casting director was auditioning for more singers, and it marked the first time she sang in pursuit of a job.:6 Although the director felt she was not right for the part, he encouraged her to begin including her talent as a singer on her résumé when looking for other work.:6
That suggestion prodded Streisand to think seriously about a singing career, in addition to acting. She asked her boyfriend, Barry Dennen, to tape her singing, copies of which she could then give out to possible employers. Dennen had acted with her briefly in an off-Broadway play, but had no reason to think she had any talent as a singer, and she never mentioned it. Nevertheless, he agreed and found a guitarist to accompany her:
We spent the afternoon taping, and the moment I heard the first playback I went insane. . . . This nutty little kook had one of the most breathtaking voices I'd ever heard . . . when she was finished and I turned off the machine, I needed a long moment before I dared look up at her.":6
Dennen's enthusiasm convinced her to enter a talent contest at the Lion, a gay nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. She performed two songs, after which there was a "stunned silence" from the audience, followed by "thunderous applause," when she was pronounced the winner.:7 She was invited back and after singing at the club for several weeks, she modified her name from Barbara to Barbra.
Nightclub shows and Broadway stage
She later was invited to audition at the Bon Soir nightclub, and was signed up at $125 a week. It became her first professional engagement, in September 1960, where she was the opening act for comedian Phyllis Diller. Streisand recalls it was the first time she'd been in that kind of upper-scale environment: "I'd never been in a nightclub until I sang in one.":7
Dennen now wanted to expose Streisand to his vast record collection of female singers, including Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer, Ethel Waters, and Edith Piaf. His effort made a difference in her developing style, as she gained new respect for the art of popular singing. She also realized that she could still become an actress by first gaining recognition as a singer.:7 According to biographer Christopher Nickens, hearing other great female singers benefited her style, as she began creating different emotional characters when performing, which gave her singing a greater range.
This range allowed her to sing with a dramatic voice or a lighthearted, and playful one. She also improved her stage presence when speaking to the audience between songs, and discovered that her Brooklyn-bred style of humor was received favorably.:8 Over the next six months at the club, some were comparing her singing voice to famous names such as Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Fanny Brice. And her ability to charm an audience with humor became more sophisticated and professional.:8
Streisand, however, never lost her desire to be a stage actress, and accepted her first role on the New York stage in Another Evening with Harry Stoones, a satirical comedy play in which she sang two solos and acted. The show received terrible reviews and closed the next day. With the help of her new personal manager, Martin Erlichman, she had successful shows in Detroit and St. Louis. He then booked her at an even more upscale nightclub in Manhattan, the Blue Angel, where she became an even bigger hit during the period of 1961 to 1962. Theater critic Leonard Harris, in one of his reviews, wrote, "She's twenty; by the time she's thirty she will have rewritten the record books.":9
While appearing at the Blue Angel, theater director and playwright Arthur Laurents asked her to audition for a new musical comedy he was directing, I Can Get It for You Wholesale. She got the part of secretary to the lead actor businessman, played by then unknown Elliott Gould.:9 They fell in love during rehearsals and eventually moved into a small apartment together above a seafood restaurant on Third Avenue. The show opened on March 22, 1962, at the Shubert Theater, and received rave reviews. Her performance "stopped the show cold," writes Nickens,:9 and she became Broadway's most exciting and youngest new star.:10 Streisand received a Tony nomination and a New York Drama Critic's prize for Best Supporting Actress. The show was recorded and it was the first time the public could purchase an album of her singing.:10
Television appearances, marriage, and first albums
Streisand's first television appearance was on The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Paar, in April 1961, singing Harold Arlen's "A Sleepin' Bee". Later in 1961, Streisand became a semi-regular on PM East/PM West, a talk/variety series hosted by Mike Wallace and Joyce Davidson. In May 1962, she was on The Garry Moore Show, where she sang "Happy Days Are Here Again" for the first time, becoming her "signature song" and a theme song for the Democratic party.:10
Johnny Carson had her on the Tonight Show half a dozen times during those same months, becoming a favorite of his television audience and himself personally. During one show she joked with Groucho Marx, who liked her style of humor.:10 In December 1962 she made the first of a number of appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, was later a cohost on the Mike Douglas Show, and made an impact on a number of Bob Hope specials. The following September, during her ongoing shows at Harrah's Hotel in Lake Tahoe, she and Elliott Gould took time off to get married in Carson City, Nevada. With her career and popularity rising so quickly, she saw her marriage to Gould as a "stabilizing influence.":11
Her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album in early 1963, made the top 10 on the Billboard chart and won three Grammy Awards.:11 The album made her the best-selling female vocalist in the country.:11 That summer she also released The Second Barbra Streisand Album, which established her as the "most exciting new personality since Elvis Presley.":11 She ended that breakthrough year of 1963 by performing one-night concerts in Indianapolis, San Jose, Chicago, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.:11
Streisand returned to Broadway in 1964 with an acclaimed performance as entertainer Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Winter Garden Theatre. The show introduced two of her signature songs, "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade", Because of the play's overnight success, she appeared on the cover of Time. In 1964 Streisand was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical but lost to Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! Streisand received an honorary "Star of the Decade" Tony Award in 1970.
In 1966, she repeated her success with Funny Girl in London's West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre. From 1965 to 1967 she appeared in her first four solo television specials.
Streisand has recorded 50 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records. Her early works in the 1960s (her debut The Barbra Streisand Album, The Second Barbra Streisand Album, The Third Album, My Name Is Barbra, etc.) are considered classic renditions of theatre and cabaret standards, including her pensive version of the normally uptempo "Happy Days Are Here Again". She performed this in a duet with Judy Garland on The Judy Garland Show. Garland referred to her on the air as one of the last great belters. They also sang "There's No Business Like Show Business" with Ethel Merman joining them.
Beginning with My Name Is Barbra, her early albums were often medley-filled keepsakes of her television specials. Starting in 1969, she began attempting more contemporary material, but like many talented singers of the day, she found herself out of her element with rock. Her vocal talents prevailed, and she gained newfound success with the pop and ballad-oriented Richard Perry-produced album Stoney End in 1971. The title track, written by Laura Nyro, was a major hit for Streisand.
During the 1970s, she was also highly prominent on the pop charts, with Top 10 recordings such as "The Way We Were" (US No. 1), "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" (US No. 1), "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (1979, with Donna Summer), which as of 2010 is reportedly still the most commercially successful duet, (US No. 1), "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond) (US No. 1) and "The Main Event" (US No. 3), some of which came from soundtrack recordings of her films. As the 1970s ended, Streisand was named the most successful female singer in the U.S. — only Elvis Presley and The Beatles had sold more albums. In 1980, she released her best-selling effort to date, the Barry Gibb-produced Guilty. The album contained the hits "Woman in Love" (which spent several weeks on top of the pop charts in the fall of 1980), "Guilty", and "What Kind of Fool".
After years of largely ignoring Broadway and traditional pop music in favor of more contemporary material, Streisand returned to her musical-theatre roots with 1985's The Broadway Album, which was unexpectedly successful, holding the coveted No. 1 Billboard position for three straight weeks, and being certified quadruple platinum. The album featured tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Stephen Sondheim, who was persuaded to rework some of his songs especially for this recording. The Broadway Album was met with acclaim, including a Grammy nomination for album of the year and, ultimately, handed Streisand her eighth Grammy as Best Female Vocalist. After releasing the live album One Voice in 1986, Streisand was set to release another album of Broadway songs in 1988. She recorded several cuts for the album under the direction of Rupert Holmes, including "On My Own" (from Les Misérables), a medley of "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" and "Heather on the Hill" (from Finian's Rainbow and Brigadoon, respectively), "All I Ask of You" (from The Phantom of the Opera), "Warm All Over" (from The Most Happy Fella) and an unusual solo version of "Make Our Garden Grow" (from Candide). Streisand was not happy with the direction of the project and it was ultimately scrapped. Only "Warm All Over" and a reworked, lite FM-friendly version of "All I Ask of You" were ever released, the latter appearing on Streisand's 1988 effort, Till I Loved You. At the beginning of the 1990s, Streisand started focusing on her film directorial efforts and became almost inactive in the recording studio. In 1991, a four-disc box set, Just for the Record, was released. A compilation spanning Streisand's entire career to date, it featured over 70 tracks of live performances, greatest hits, rarities and previously unreleased material.
The following year, Streisand's concert fundraising events helped propel former Pres. Bill Clinton into the spotlight and into office. Streisand later introduced Clinton at his inauguration in 1993. Streisand's music career, however, was largely on hold. A 1992 appearance at an APLA benefit as well as the aforementioned inaugural performance hinted that Streisand was becoming more receptive to the idea of live performances. A tour was suggested, though Streisand would not immediately commit to it, citing her well-known stage fright as well as security concerns. During this time, Streisand finally returned to the recording studio and released Back to Broadway in June 1993. The album was not as universally lauded as its predecessor, but it did debut at No. 1 on the pop charts (a rare feat for an artist of Streisand's age, especially given that it relegated Janet Jackson's Janet to the No. 2 spot). One of the album's highlights was a medley of "I Have A Love" / "One Hand, One Heart", a duet with Johnny Mathis, who Streisand said is one of her favorite singers.
In 1993, New York Times music critic Stephen Holden wrote that Streisand "enjoys a cultural status that only one other American entertainer, Frank Sinatra, has achieved in the last half century". In September 1993, Streisand announced her first public concert appearances in 27 years (if one does not count her Las Vegas nightclub performances between 1969 and 1972). What began as a two-night New Year's event at the MGM Grand Las Vegas eventually led to a multi-city tour in the summer of 1994. Tickets for the tour were sold out in under one hour. Streisand also appeared on the covers of major magazines in anticipation of what Time magazine named "The Music Event of the Century." The tour was one of the biggest all-media merchandise parlays in history. Ticket prices ranged from US$50 to US$1,500 – making Streisand the highest-paid concert performer in history. Barbra Streisand: The Concert went on to be the top-grossing concert of the year and earned five Emmy Awards and the Peabody Award, while the taped broadcast on HBO is, to date, the highest-rated concert special in HBO's 30-year history. Following the tour's conclusion, Streisand once again kept a low profile musically, instead focusing her efforts on acting and directing duties as well as a burgeoning romance with actor James Brolin.
In 1996, Streisand released "I Finally Found Someone" as a duet with Canadian singer and songwriter Bryan Adams. The song was nominated for an Oscar as it was part of the soundtrack of Streisand's self-directed movie The Mirror Has Two Faces. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was her first significant hit in almost a decade and her first top 10 hit on the Hot 100 (and first gold single) since 1981.
In 1997, she finally returned to the recording studio, releasing Higher Ground, a collection of songs of a loosely inspirational nature which also featured a duet with Céline Dion. The album received generally favorable reviews and, remarkably, once again debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts. Following her marriage to Brolin in 1998, Streisand recorded an album of love songs entitled A Love Like Ours the following year. Reviews were mixed, with many critics complaining about the somewhat syrupy sentiments and overly-lush arrangements; however, it did produce a modest hit for Streisand in the country-tinged "If You Ever Leave Me", a duet with Vince Gill.
On New Year's Eve 1999, Streisand returned to the concert stage, selling out in the first few hours, eight months before her return. At the end of the millennium, she was the number one female singer in the U.S., with at least two No. 1 albums in each decade since she began performing. A two-disc live album of the concert entitled Timeless: Live in Concert was released in 2000. Streisand performed versions of the Timeless concert in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, in early 2000. In advance of four concerts (two each in Los Angeles and New York) in September 2000, Streisand announced that she was retiring from playing public concerts. Her performance of the song "People" was broadcast on the Internet via America Online.
Streisand's most recent albums have been Christmas Memories (2001), a somewhat somber collection of holiday songs (which felt entirely —albeit unintentionally— appropriate in the early post-9/11 days), and The Movie Album (2003), featuring famous film themes and backed by a large symphony orchestra. Guilty Pleasures (called Guilty Too in the UK), a collaboration with Barry Gibb and a sequel to their Guilty, was released worldwide in 2005.
In February 2006, Streisand recorded the song "Smile" alongside Tony Bennett at Streisand's Malibu home. The song is included on Bennett's 80th birthday album, Duets. In September 2006, the pair filmed a live performance of the song for a special directed by Rob Marshall entitled Tony Bennett: An American Classic. The special aired on NBC November 21, 2006, and was released on DVD the same day. Streisand's duet with Bennett opened the special. In 2006, Streisand announced her intent to tour again, in an effort to raise money and awareness for multiple issues. After four days of rehearsal at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey, the tour began on October 4 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, continued with a featured stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, (this was the concert Streisand chose to film for a TV special), and concluded at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 20, 2006. Special guests Il Divo were interwoven throughout the show. The show was known as Streisand: The Tour.
Streisand's 20-concert tour set box-office records. At the age of 64, well past the prime of most performers, she grossed $92,457,062 and set house gross records in 14 of the 16 arenas played on the tour. She set the third-place record for her October 9, 2006 show at Madison Square Garden, the first- and second-place records of which are held by her two shows in September 2000. She set the second-place record at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with her December 31, 1999 show being the house record and the highest-grossing concert of all time. This led many people to openly criticize Streisand for price gouging, as many tickets sold for upwards of $1,000.
A collection of performances culled from different stops on this tour, Live in Concert 2006, debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, making it Streisand's 29th Top 10 album. In the summer of 2007, Streisand gave concerts for the first time in continental Europe. The first concert took place in Zürich (June 18), then Vienna (June 22), Paris (June 26), Berlin (June 30), Stockholm (July 4, canceled), Manchester (July 10) and Celbridge, near Dublin (July 14), followed by three concerts in London (July 18, 22 and 25), the only European city where Streisand had performed before 2007. Tickets for the London dates cost between £100.00 and £1,500.00 and for the Ireland date between €118 and €500. The Ireland date was marred by problems, with serious parking and seating problems leading to the event's being dubbed a fiasco by Hot Press. The tour included a 58-piece orchestra.
In February 2008, Forbes listed Streisand as the No.-2-earning female musician, between June 2006 and June 2007, with earnings of about $60 million. On November 17, 2008, Streisand returned to the studio to begin recording what would be her sixty-third album and it was announced that Diana Krall was producing the album. Streisand is one of the recipients of the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors. On December 7, 2008, she visited the White House as part of the ceremonies.
On April 25, 2009, CBS aired Streisand's latest TV special, Streisand: Live in Concert, highlighting the aforementioned featured stop from her 2006 North American tour, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On September 26, 2009, Streisand performed a one-night-only show at the Village Vanguard in New York City's Greenwich Village. This performance was later released on DVD as One Night Only: Barbra Streisand and Quartet at The Village Vanguard. On September 29, 2009, Streisand and Columbia Records released her newest studio album, Love is the Answer, produced by Diana Krall. On October 2, 2009, Streisand made her British television performance debut with an interview on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to promote the album. This album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and registered her biggest weekly sales since 1997, making Streisand the only artist in history to achieve No. 1 albums in five different decades.
On February 1, 2010, Streisand joined over eighty other artists in recording a new version of the 1985 charity single "We Are the World". Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie planned to release the new version to mark the 25th anniversary of its original recording. These plans changed, however, in view of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, and on February 12, the song, now called "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", made its debut as a charity single to support relief aid for the beleaguered island nation.
On October 11, 2012, Streisand gave a three-hour concert performance before a crowd of 18,000 as part of the ongoing inaugural events of Barclays Center (and part of her current Barbra Live tour) in her native Brooklyn (her first-ever public performance in her home borough). Streisand was joined onstage by trumpeter Chris Botti, Italian operatic trio Il Volo, and her son Jason Gould. The concert included musical tributes by Streisand to Donna Summer and Marvin Hamlisch, both of whom had died earlier in 2012. Confirmed attendees included Barbara Walters, Jimmy Fallon, Sting, Katie Couric, Woody Allen, Michael Douglas and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. In June 2013 she gave two concerts in Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv.
In September 2014, she released Partners, a new album of duets that features collaborations with Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, and John Legend. This album topped the Billboard 200 with sales of 196,000 copies in the first week, making Streisand the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades. It was also certified gold in November 2014, thus becoming Streisand's 52nd gold record, more than any other female artist in history.
Her first film was a reprise of her Broadway hit, Funny Girl (1968), an artistic and commercial success directed by Hollywood veteran William Wyler. Streisand won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress for the role, sharing it with Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter), the only time there has been a tie in this Oscar category. Her next two movies were also based on musicals, Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!, directed by Gene Kelly (1969); and Alan Jay Lerner's and Burton Lane's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, directed by Vincente Minnelli (1970); while her fourth film was based on the Broadway play The Owl and the Pussycat (1970).
During the 1970s, Streisand starred in several screwball comedies, including What's Up, Doc? (1972) and The Main Event (1979), both co-starring Ryan O'Neal, and For Pete's Sake (1974) with Michael Sarrazin. One of her most famous roles during this period was in the drama The Way We Were (1973) with Robert Redford, for which she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. She earned her second Academy Award for Best Original Song (with lyricist Paul Williams) for the song "Evergreen", from A Star Is Born in 1976, in which she also starred.
Along with Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and later Steve McQueen, Streisand formed First Artists Production Company in 1969, so that the actors could secure properties and develop movie projects for themselves. Streisand's initial outing with First Artists was Up the Sandbox (1972).
From a period beginning in 1969 and ending in 1980, Streisand appeared in the annual motion picture exhibitors poll of Top 10 Box Office attractions a total of 10 times, often as the only woman on the list. After the commercially disappointing All Night Long in 1981, Streisand's film output decreased considerably. She has acted in only seven films since.
Streisand produced a number of her own films, setting up Barwood Films in 1972. For Yentl (1983), she was producer, director, and star, an experience she repeated for The Prince of Tides (1991) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). There was controversy when Yentl received five Academy Award nominations, but none for the major categories of Best Picture, Actress, or Director. The Prince of Tides received even more Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but the director was not nominated. Streisand also scripted Yentl, something for which she is not always given credit. According to The New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal in an interview with Allan Wolper, "The one thing that makes Barbra Streisand crazy is when nobody gives her the credit for having written Yentl."
In 2004, Streisand made a return to film acting after an eight-year hiatus, in the comedy Meet the Fockers (a sequel to Meet the Parents), playing opposite Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner and Robert De Niro.
In 2005, Streisand's Barwood Films, Gary Smith, and Sonny Murray purchased the rights to Simon Mawer's book Mendel's Dwarf. In December 2008, she stated that she was considering directing an adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, a project she has worked on since the mid-1990s. In 2009, Andrew Lloyd Webber stated that Streisand was one of several actresses (alongside Meryl Streep and Glenn Close) who was interested in playing the role of Norma Desmond in the film adaptation of Webber's musical version of Sunset Boulevard.
On January 28, 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Paramount Pictures had given the green light to begin shooting the road-trip comedy My Mother's Curse, with Seth Rogen playing Streisand's character's son. Anne Fletcher directed the project with a script by Dan Fogelman, produced by Lorne Michaels, John Goldwyn, and Evan Goldberg. Executive producers included Streisand, Rogen, Fogelman, and David Ellison, whose Skydance Productions co-financed the road movie. Shooting began in spring 2011 and wrapped in July; the film's title was eventually altered to The Guilt Trip, and the movie was released in December 2012.
Streisand has been set to star in a new feature film adaptation of the musical Gypsy, featuring music by by Jules Styne, a book by Arthur Laurents and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, with Richard LaGravenese reportedly attached to the project as screenwriter.
Artistry and voice
Streisand is a mezzo-soprano who has a range consisting of well over two octaves from "low E to a high G and probably a bit more in either direction". However, she has been identified by Whitney Balliett of The New Yorker as "a contralto with a couple of octaves at her command, and she wows her listeners with her shrewd dynamics (in-your-ear soft here, elbowing-loud there), her bravura climbs, her rolling vibrato, and the singular Streisand-from-Brooklyn nasal quality of her voice–a voice as immediately recognizable in its way as Louis Armstrong's." While she is predominantly a pop singer, Streisand's voice has been described as "semi-operatic" due to its strength and quality of tone. She is known for her ability to hold relatively high notes, both loud and soft, with great intensity, as well as for her ability to make slight but unobtrusive embellishments on a melodic line. The former quality led classical pianist Glenn Gould to call himself "a Streisand freak". In recent years, critics and audiences have noted that her voice has "lowered and acquired an occasionally husky edge". However, New York Times music critic Stephen Holden noted that her distinctive tone and musical instincts remain, and that she still "has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound". Paul Taylor of The Independent wrote that Streisand "has sounded a little scratchy and frayed, though the stout resolve and superb technique with which Streisand manages to hoist it over these difficulties has come to seem morally as well aesthetically impressive." Reviewing Streisand's most recent studio effort Partners, Gil Naveh of Haaretz described Streisand's voice as "velvety, clear and powerful ... and the passing years have given it a fascinating depth and roughness."
Relationships and family
Streisand has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Elliott Gould, to whom she was married from 1963 until 1971. They had one child, Jason Gould, who appeared as her on-screen son in The Prince of Tides. In 1969 and 1970, Streisand dated Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Streisand dated tennis champion Andre Agassi in the early 1990s. Writing about the relationship in his 2009 autobiography, Agassi said: "We agree that we're good for each other, and so what if she's twenty-eight years older? We're simpatico, and the public outcry only adds spice to our connection. It makes our friendship feel forbidden, taboo – another piece of my overall rebellion. Dating Barbra Streisand is like wearing Hot Lava."
Her second husband is actor James Brolin, whom she married on July 1, 1998. While they have no children together, Brolin has two children from his first marriage, including actor Josh Brolin, and one child from his second marriage. Both of her husbands, Gould and Brolin, starred in the 1970s conspiracy sci-fi thriller Capricorn One.
Streisand changed her name from Barbara to Barbra because, she said, "I hated the name, but I refused to change it." Streisand further explained, "Well, I was 18 and I wanted to be unique, but I didn't want to change my name because that was too false. You know, people were saying you could be Joanie Sands, or something like that. (My middle name is Joan.) And I said, 'No, let's see, if I take out the 'a,' it's still 'Barbara,' but it's unique." A 1967 biography with a concert program said, "the spelling of her first name is an instance of partial rebellion: she was advised to change her last name and retaliated by dropping an “a” from the first instead."
Streisand has long been an active supporter of the Democratic Party and many of its causes.
In 1984, Streisand donated the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the Mount Scopus campus, in memory of her father, an educator and scholar who died when she was young.
Streisand has personally raised $25 million for organizations through her live performances. The Streisand Foundation, established in 1986, has contributed over $16 million through nearly 1,000 grants to "national organizations working on preservation of the environment, voter education, the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, women's issues and nuclear disarmament".
In 2009, Streisand gifted $5 million to endow the Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Women's Heart Center. In September that year, Parade magazine included Streisand on its Giving Back Fund's second annual Giving Back 30 survey, "a ranking of the celebrities who have made the largest donations to charity in 2007 according to public records", as the third most generous celebrity. The Giving Back Fund claimed Streisand donated $11 million, which The Streisand Foundation distributed. In 2012 she raised $22 million to support her women's cardiovascular center, bringing her own personal contribution to $10 million. The program was officially named the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center.
At Julien’s Auctions in October 2009, Streisand, a longtime collector of art and furniture, sold 526 items, with all the proceeds going to her foundation. Items included a costume from Funny Lady and a vintage dental cabinet purchased by the performer at 18 years old. The sale’s most valuable lot was a painting by Kees van Dongen. In December 2011, she agreed to sing at a fundraising gala for Israel Defense Forces charities.
Streisand has received many honors, accolades and achievement awards in recognition of her success and in the arts and in social activism.
In 1968, Streisand received the Israel Freedom Medal, and she was awarded the Pied Piper Award by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1969, the Crystal Apple by New York City in 1976, and the Woman of Achievement in the Arts award by the Anti-Defamation League in 1978.
In 1984, Streisand was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. She received the Woman of Courage Award by the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture.
In 1992, she was awarded the Commitment to Life Award by AIDS Project Los Angeles. She received the Bill of Rights Award by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. She was honored with the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award from ASCAP in 1994, and she received the Peabody Award in 1995, the same year she was accorded An Honorary Doctorate In Arts and Humanities by Brandeis University.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton presented Streisand with the National Medal of Arts and the Library of Congress Living Legend, and she received the AFI Life Achievement Award from American Film Institute.
For her activism, she was awarded the Liberty and Justice Award from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in 2001, and the Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2005. In 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy presented Streisand with the medal of an officer of France's Legion of Honour, and President George W. Bush presented her with the Kennedy Center Honors. She was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007, the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009, and in 2010 the National Museum of American Jewish History and the California Hall of Fame.
Streisand was accorded an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2013. That same year, she was received the Charles Chaplin lifetime achievement award by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as the only female artist who directed, wrote, produced and starred in the same major studio film (Yentl). She also received the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Board of Governors Award.
She was selected as the Star of the Decade by the National Association of Theatre Owners in 1980, and in 1988 she was named the All-Time Favorite Musical Performer by People's Choice Awards. She was named the 20th century's best female singer in a Reuters/Zogby poll in 1999.
On the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, in the recurring skit "Coffee Talk", character Linda Richman, played by Mike Myers, hosts a talk show dedicated to, among other things, the adoration of Streisand. Streisand, in turn, made an unannounced guest appearance on the show, surprising Myers and his guests Madonna and Roseanne Barr. Myers also appeared as the Linda Richman character on stage with Streisand at her 1994 MGM Grand concert, as well as a few of the 1994 Streisand tour shows.
In the DreamWorks Animation CGI series Father of the Pride, in the episode "And The Revolution Continues", Streisand appears as a guest at MGM Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, where Siegfried & Roy are entertaining her and her husband James Brolin. She was about to eat a lobster named Emerson, but was saved by the series main protagonist; Larry the White Lion after he has a confrontation with Streisand.
In movies, Streisand is the favorite performer of Kevin Kline's character Howard Brackett, who finally admits to being gay while standing at the altar in the 1997 romantic comedy In & Out. His unfortunate bride-to-be, played by Joan Cusack, cries out in frustration to family and friends present, "Does anybody here KNOW how many times I've had to sit through Funny Lady?" In an earlier scene, Howard is taunted by a friend during an argument at a bar with a jeering, "The studio thought that Barbra was too ol-l-ld to play Yentl." The film also mentions the album Color Me Barbra. Streisand's signature tune, "People", is played by a school orchestra in honor of teacher Howard as the story wraps at the end of the credits. This and similar references point to her popularity among gay men.
In the 1996 comedy "The Associate", Whoopi Goldberg plays a business woman, Laurel Ayers, who creates a business associate, Robert S. Cutty, who is said to have known and dated Streisand. In addition to having an autographed picture of Streisand in her office, Ayers also has a cross-dressing friend who dresses up to resemble Streisand throughout the film.
The characters Carla and Connie, as an aspiring song-and-dance act duo in the 2004 comedy Connie and Carla, include four Streisand references. They sing "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" and "Memory" at an airport lounge and "Don't Rain on My Parade" onstage in a gay bar, and talk about the plot of Yentl at the climax of the film after they ask how many in their audience have seen the movie (everyone raised their hands).
In a montage of makeovers in the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams' character is transformed into someone vaguely resembling Streisand and proceeds to sing the first verse of "Don't Rain on My Parade", even mimicking Streisand's signature facial expressions.
Sound clips of Streisand's heated exchange with a supporter of former U.S. president George W. Bush were sampled in the 2009 Lucian Piane dance song "Bale Out", making it sound as if she were arguing with actor Christian Bale (whose recorded outbursts during the filming of Terminator Salvation were the centerpiece of the song).
"Barbra Streisand" is a disco house song by American-Canadian DJ duo Duck Sauce (Armand Van Helden & A-Trak). It was released on September 10, 2010. The song peaked at number one in Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. It became a top ten hit in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy.
Daniel Stern's 2003 Off-Broadway play Barbra's Wedding was set against the backdrop of Streisand's 1998 wedding to James Brolin.
The comedy play Buyer & Cellar, written by Jonathan Tolins, is set in Streisand's Malibu house cellar. A struggling actor finds a job there and one day meets the star. It is a one-man show starring Michael Urie that premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in April 2013.
In 2003, Streisand sued aerial photographer Kenneth Adelman for displaying a photograph of her Malibu, California home, along with 12,000 other photos of the California coastline taken to illustrate coastal erosion. The picture had at that point been downloaded a total of six times, two of which were by Streisand's lawyers. The suit had the unintended consequence of drawing attention to the photograph, which suddenly became wildly popular and was rapidly copied to multiple mirror sites outside the immediate reach of US law. Her lawsuit was eventually dismissed under the anti-SLAPP provisions of California law. Mike Masnick of Techdirt coined the term "Streisand effect" in January 2005 to describe the publicity generated by Streisand's efforts to suppress the publication of the photograph.
Streisand's works have been nominated for 40 Grammy Awards; she won 8 of these, including and Grammy Lifetime Achievement and Grammy Legend Award. She has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame three times. In 2011, she was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year by the Grammy Foundation for her artistic achievement in the music industry.
|1963||Grammy Awards||Album of the Year||The Barbra Streisand Album||Won|
|Best Female Vocal Performance||Won|
|Record of the Year||"Happy Days Are Here Again"||Nominated|
|1964||Best Female Vocal Performance||People||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Record of the Year||Nominated|
|1965||Best Female Vocal Performance||My Name Is Barbra||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|1966||Best Female Vocal Performance||Color Me Barbra||Nominated|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|1968||Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance||Funny Girl Soundtrack||Nominated|
|1970||AGVA Georgie Award||Entertainer of the Year||—||Won|
|1972||Grammy Awards||Best Pop Female Vocal Performance||"Sweet Inspiration / Where You Lead"||Nominated|
|AGVA Georgie Award||Singing Star of the Year||—||Won|
|1975||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Female Singer of the Year||Won|
|1976||Grammy Awards||Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance||Classical Barbra||Nominated|
|1977||Best Pop Female Vocal Performance||"Evergreen" (from A Star Is Born)||Won|
|Song of the Year||Won|
|Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Original Score – Motion Picture or Television Special||Nominated|
|AGVA Georgie Award||Singing Star of the Year||—||Won|
|1978||Grammy Awards||Best Pop Female Vocal Performance||"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond)||Nominated|
|1979||Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Performance – Duo, Group, or Chorus||Nominated|
|1980||Guilty (with Barry Gibb)||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Record of the Year||"Woman in Love"||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Female Performance||Nominated|
|AGVA Georgie Awards||Singing Star of the Year||—||Won|
|1985||People's Choice Awards||Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer||Won|
|1986||Grammy Awards||Best Pop Vocal Female Performance||The Broadway Album||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal||"Being Alive"||Nominated|
|1987||Best Pop Vocal Female Performance||One Voice||Nominated|
|Best Music Video Performance||Nominated|
|1988||People's Choice Awards||Favorite All-Time Musical Performer||—||Won|
|1991||Grammy Awards||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance||"Warm All Over"||Nominated|
|1992||Grammy Legend Award||—||Special award|
|1993||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance||Back to Broadway||Nominated|
|1994||Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award||—||Special award|
|Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance||Barbra: The Concert||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Female Performance||"Ordinary Miracles"||Nominated|
|1997||Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals||"Tell Him" (with Celine Dion)||Nominated|
|"I Finally Found Someone" (with Bryan Adams)||Nominated|
|2000||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album||Timeless – Live In Concert||Nominated|
|2003||The Movie Album||Nominated|
|2004||Grammy Hall of Fame||Funny Girl (Barbra Streisand and Sydney Chaplin)||Inducted|
|2006||The Barbra Streisand Album|
|2007||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album||Live in Concert 2006||Nominated|
|2008||Grammy Hall of Fame||"The Way We Were"||Inducted|
|2011||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album||Love Is the Answer||Nominated|
|2012||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album||What Matters Most||Nominated|
|2015||Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album||Partners||Nominated|
Streisand has won two Academy Awards (Oscar) against five nominations: two for acting, two for songwriting and one for Best Picture. She won Oscars for Best Actress (Funny Girl) and Best Original Song ("Evergreen"). The three films she directed received a total of fourteen Oscar nominations.
|1969||Academy Awards||Best Actress||Funny Girl||Won||Tied with Katharine Hepburn|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||Won|
|Henrietta World Film Favorite||—||Special award|
|1971||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||The Owl and the Pussycat||Nominated|
|Henrietta World Film Favorite||—||Special award|
|1974||Academy Awards||Best Actress||The Way We Were||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama)||Nominated|
|1975||Henrietta World Film Favorite||—||Special award|
|1976||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||Funny Lady||Nominated|
|1977||Academy Awards||Best Original Song||"Evergreen" (from A Star Is Born)||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||Won|
|Best Original Song||Won|
|1978||Henrietta World Film Favorite||—||Special award|
|1984||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||Yentl||Nominated|
|Best Director (Motion Picture)||Won|
|Best Motion Picture (Comedy Or Musical)||Won|
|1985||Golden Raspberry Awards||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress||Nominated|
|1988||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress in Motion Picture (Drama)||Nuts||Nominated|
|Best Motion Picture (Drama)||Nominated|
|1992||Academy Awards||Best Picture||The Prince of Tides||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Director (Motion Picture)||Nominated|
|Best Motion Picture - (Drama)||Nominated|
|1997||Academy Awards||Best Original Song||"I Finally Found Someone" (from The Mirror Has Two Faces)||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)||The Mirror Has Two Faces||Nominated|
|Best Original Song||"I Finally Found Someone" (from The Mirror Has Two Faces)||Nominated|
|2000||Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement||—||Special award|
|2010||Golden Raspberry Award||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress||Little Fockers||Nominated|
|2012||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress||The Guilt Trip||Nominated|
|1961–1963||I Can Get It for You Wholesale||Nominated—Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical|
|1964–1965||Funny Girl||Nominated—Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical|
West End performances
|1966||Funny Girl||April 13, 1966 – July 16, 1966 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.|
|1965||My Name Is Barbra||Aired on CBS April 28, 1965|
|1966||Color Me Barbra||Aired on CBS March 30, 1966|
|1967||The Belle of 14th Street||Aired on CBS October 11, 1967|
|1968||A Happening in Central Park||Aired on CBS June 17, 1967|
|1973||Barbra Streisand...And Other Musical Instruments||Aired on CBS Nov 2, 1973|
|1975||Funny Girl to Funny Lady||Aired on ABC|
|1976||Barbra: With One More Look at You|
|1983||A Film Is Born: The Making of 'Yentl '|
|1986||Putting it Together: The Making of The Broadway Album|
|1994||Barbra Streisand: The Concert||Also producer and director|
|2001||Barbra Streisand: Timeless||Aired on FOX February 14, 2001 (1 hour edited version)|
|2009||Streisand: Live in Concert||Aired on CBS April 25, 2009 (Filmed in Florida in 2006)|
|2011||Barbra Streisand: One Night Only at The Village Vanguard||Aired on PBS, premiered on August 6, 2011|
|2012||"Katie: Barbra is Back!"||September 25, 2012|
Tours and live performances
|Year||Title||Continents||Box-office benefits||Total audience|
|1966||An Evening with Barbra Streisand Tour||North America||$480,000||67,500|
|1993–94||Barbra Streisand in Concert||North America and Europe||$50 million||400,000|
|1999–2000||Timeless||North America and Australia||$70 million||200,000|
|2006–07||Streisand||North America and Europe||$119.5 million||425,000|
|2012–13||Barbra Live||North America and Europe||$66 million||254,958|
- 2010: My Passion for Design
This book details the creation and construction of Streisand's New England Farmhouse in California. Streisand states in the introduction of My Passion for Design that she began work on this home when she failed to obtain financing for a film project and needed to redirect her energy into another passion. The sumptuous volume, which she not only wrote but for which she provided the principal photography, was released in a coffee table hardback format. A special slip-cased, signed and numbered version with accompanying 15 minute DVD, limited to 500 copies, sold out during pre-order in advance of publication.
Streisand has stated that she is in the process of writing her autobiography but has stopped and started at various points.
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Miss Streisand arrived in Ottawa Wednesday night...and attended a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, in capital's [sic] posh National Arts Centre, with the prime minister. The outing, their third together, was enough, said a local newspaper, to ‘set Ottawa buzzing with romantic speculation.’
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- "Barbra Streisand". Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 23, 2014. Text " Hit Parade Hall of Fame " ignored (help)
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- Streisand v. Adelman, et al., in California Superior Court; Case SC077257
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- People September 29, 2015
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- Riese, Randall (1993). Her Name Is Barbra: An Intimate Portrait of the Real Barbra Streisand. Birch Lane Press. ISBN 1-55972-203-7.
- Santopietro, Tom (2006). The Importance of Being Barbra: The Brilliant, Tumultuous Career of Barbra Streisand. Thomas Dunne. ISBN 978-0-312-34879-3.
- Spada, James (1995). Streisand: Her Life. Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-59753-5.
- Pohly, Linda (2000). The Barbra Steisand Companion: A Guide to Her Vocal Style and Repertoire. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30414-9.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Barbra Streisand|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Barbra Streisand.|
- Official website
- Barbra Streisand at AllMovie
- Barbra Streisand at the Internet Movie Database
- Barbra Streisand at the Internet Broadway Database
- Barbra Streisand at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- video: "Barbra Streisand Accepts the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2001" 9 min.