Barbra Streisand is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about her!
1. Barbara Joan “Barbra” Streisand was born April 24, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Diana and Emanuel Streisand.
2. Her mother had been a soprano singer in her youth and considered a career in music, but later became a school secretary.
3. Her father was a high school teacher at the same school, where they first met. Streisand’s family was Jewish; her paternal grandparents emigrated from Galicia (Poland–Ukraine) and her maternal grandparents from the Russian Empire, where her grandfather had been a cantor.
4. Her father earned 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.”
5. He married Ida in 1930, two years after graduating, and became a highly respected educator with a focus on helping underprivileged and delinquent youth.
6. In August 1943, a few months after Streisand’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.
7. 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.”
8. Her mother tried to pay their bills but could not give her daughter the attention she craved: “When I wanted love from my mother, she gave me food,” Streisand says.
9. Streisand recalls that her mother had a “great voice” and sang semi-professionally on occasion, in her operatic soprano voice.
10. During a visit to the Catskills when Streisand was thirteen, she told Rosie O’Donnell, she and her mother recorded some songs on tape. That session was the first time Streisand ever asserted herself as an artist, which also became her “first moment of inspiration” as an artist.
11. She has an older brother, Sheldon, and a half-sister, the singer Roslyn Kind, from her mother’s remarriage to Louis Kind in 1949. Roslyn is nine years younger than Streisand.
12. Barbra Streisand began her education at the Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva of Brooklyn when she was five.
13. Barbra Streisand next entered Public School 89 in Brooklyn, and during those early school years she began watching television and going to movies.
14. 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.”
15. Barbra Streisand became known by others in the neighborhood for having a good voice.
16. 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.”
17. 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.
18. Young Streisand was invited to sing at weddings and summer camp, along with having an unsuccessful audition at MGM records when she was nine.
19. 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.”
20. Although she knew her voice was good and she liked the attention, becoming an actress was her main objective.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Barbra Streisand attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn in 1955 where she became an honor student in modern history, English, and Spanish.
24. Barbra Streisand also joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, where she sang with another choir member and classmate, Neil Diamond.
25. During the summer of 1957 she got her first stage experience as a walk-on at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York.
26. 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.
27. Barbra Streisand 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.
28. Streisand’s first television appearance was on The Tonight Show, then credited to its usual host Jack Paar. She was seen during an April 1961 episode on which Orson Bean substituted for Paar. She sang Harold Arlen’s “A Sleepin’ Bee”.
29. Later in 1961, before she was cast in Another Evening With Harry Stoones, she became a semi-regular on PM East/PM West, a talk/variety series hosted by Mike Wallace and Joyce Davidson.
30. Barbra Streisand has recorded 50 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records.
31. Her first film was a reprise of her Broadway hit, Funny Girl (1968), an artistic and commercial success directed by Hollywood veteran William Wyler. 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.
32. Barbra 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”.
33. Streisand has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Elliott Gould, to whom she was married from 1963 until 1971.
34. 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.
35. She started a relationship with hairdresser/producer Jon Peters in 1974. He went on to be her manager and producer.
36. She is the godmother of his daughters, Caleigh Peters and Skye Peters.
37. 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.”
38. Her second husband is actor James Brolin, whom she married on July 1, 1998.
39. 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.
40. Streisand changed her name from Barbara to Barbra because, she said, “I hated the name, but I refused to change it.”
41. Streisand has long been an active supporter of the Democratic Party and many of its causes.
42. In 1971, Streisand was one of the celebrities listed on President Richard Nixon’s infamous Enemies List.
43. In a career spanning six decades, she has become an icon in multiple fields of entertainment, which earned her recognition as Mother of All Contemporary Pop Divas or Queen of The Divas, and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes.
44. She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award, and is one of only two artists who have also won a Peabody.
45. Streisand is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with more than 68.5 million albums in the United States and with a total of 145 million records sold worldwide.(The only female in the top ten, and the only artist outside of the rock ‘n’ roll genre.) making her the best-selling female artist among the top-selling artists recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America,