Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Barbra Joan Streisand was born on April 24, 1942 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her parents were Barbra and Emanuel Streisand. When Barbra was just 15 months old, her father died of an epileptic seizure.
Streisand attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and had several famous classmates, including musician Neil Diamond, and chess champion Bobby Fischer. The two used to have lunch together and Streisand thought he was both "peculiar and sexy."
Her original name was spelled "Barbara" Streisand wasn't a fan of her original first name, so she removed the second "a" and shortened it to just Barbra.
Streisand has said that her mother was "jealous of her" and her natural talents. Her mother was often extremely critical towards her, which Streisand felt was rooted in resentment due to her mother's lack of success in music. Streisand's first public performance was at a Parent Teacher Association meeting back when she was a child. She was recognized as a true talent by nearly everyone except for her mother, who was reportedly quite critical of her throughout her life. During her childhood, Streisand felt like an outcast due to the fact that she did not have a father. She explained, “Everybody else’s father came home from work at the end of the day. Mine didn’t.”
She wanted to be an actress more than a singer: Despite Streisand's legendary status in the world of music, she initially expressed a stronger desire to become an actress. Lucky for her, she was able to pursue both dreams in full.
Even though Streisand is an undeniable star both on and off-stage, she has admitted in the past that she has suffered from stage fright. She has said that her fear is rooted in the thought that she doesn't want to disappoint people.
She is known as the mother of pop Streisand has won several awards for her work in music and film over the years, and is often regarded as the mother of all contemporary pop divas, considering her status as one of the best-selling artists of all time. Streisand married actor Elliott Gould in 1963 and they had one child together. The two parted ways in 1971, and Streisand got remarried in 1998 to actor James Brolin. Coincidentally, both of her husbands were part of 1970s sci-fi thriller Capricorn One.
In 1968, Streisand won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Funny Girl, the film version of her Broadway hit. She ended up tying with actress Katharine Hepburn, who also received the award that night for her role in The Lion in Winter. This is the only time there was a tie in this category.
In 1973, it was revealed during the Watergate Investigation that President Richard Nixon created a list of political opponents and enemies. Streisand made the list, along with a few other Hollywood actors including Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, and Carol Channing. Streisand was married twice, but dated Pierre Trudeau, the former prime Minister of Canada, in 1969 and 1970. He apparently proposed to the singer, but she turned him down.
Streisand was the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. Her 1983 film Yentl went on to win two Oscars, and she personally won a Golden Globe for Best Director, becoming the only woman to ever receive the award.
Streisand has spoken out several times about her personal choice to not get a nose job. She believes that it's a unique feature that has actually helped her career rather than hinder it. The Barbra Streisand Foundation was created in 1986 and supports a variety of charitable causes. Since it was founded, more than $18 million has been raised for organizations that support environmentalism, race relations, women’s issues, AIDS research, and children’s issues. In the early 1990s, Streisand briefly dated tennis star Andre Agassi. The tennis champ didn't care that Streisand was 28 years older and described their relationship as "simpatico" in his biography, and also said that she was like "hot lava."
She has received a Presidential Medal of Freedom: In November 2015, Streisand was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President Barack Obama. In 2017, Streisand's dog Samantha passed away. Before she died, Streisand took cells from her dog's mouth to create two clones: Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. She has an album about Donald Trump Streisand released an album in November 2018 entitled Walls. She has said that the album embodies her overall feelings about Donald Trump and his presidency.
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