Barbara Joan Streisand was born on April 24th, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. She is a famous award-winning singer, composer, actress, and director who is often regarded as the finest and the most popular vocalist of her age to date.
She is the first biggest female Jewish star to do a role as an actress, which resulted in female empowerment in the 60s and 70s. Streisand’s outspokenness only increased her popularity, and she became one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry known for her liberal views and charity.
Barbara wanted to be an actor, so she joined a theater club in Malden Bridge, New York, and started studying acting while still in high school. She went to Manhattan after college, and her first break came in 1960 when she performed at a small neighborhood cabaret and won an amateur talent contest.
She played many different roles in various movies and won multiple awards, including Grammys, Oscars, and Tony awards. Streisand is also known for having a mezzo-soprano vocal range that truly amazes the listeners.
All that aside, Streisand is an avid supporter of the Democratic Party and a huge advocate and activist of civil rights movements, especially women’s rights, and covering different events on social issues.
Works of Barbara Streisand
In the Field of Music
1. The Barbara Streisand Album
“The Barbara Streisand Album” is the first debut album by Barbara Streisand released on February 25th, 1963, with Columbia Records, Catalog CL 2007 in mono, and CS 8807 in stereo. It reached number 8 on the Billboard pop albums list and was certified gold by the RIAA. The record had sold over one million copies worldwide by 1966.
The album also won Grammy awards for the” Album of the Year” and “Best Female Vocal Performance.” Later in January 2006, the album got inducted into the “Grammy Hall of Fame.”
2. The Second Barbara Streisand Album
“The Second Barbara Streisand Album” is the title of Barbara Streisand’s second solo album released six months after her first debut album in August 1963 and was recorded in four days in June of the same year.
In 1963, Streisand told the reporter that she gave her album the name “The Second Barbara Streisand” because no one would remember the fancy name. The Columbia issued mono and stereo blue vinyl promo record to radio stations making this Columbia’s first Streisand colored vinyl.
The record had sold over one million copies worldwide by 1966. The album had its digital CD debut in 1987 and was re-released on October 19th, 1993, in a remastered CD edition.
3. The Third Album
“The Third Album” is Barbara Streisand’s third solo album, as apparent from the name, released in February 1964. The album had sold over one million copies worldwide by 1966. After the success of her previous two albums, people expected that her third album would also be a great hit, which is exactly what happened.
The album became very successful and reached the 5th spot on Billboard’s Pop Album Chart certified as gold by the RIAA. It maintained its spot in the Billboard 200 for 74 weeks.
4. Happy Days Are Here Again
Barbara Streisand covered the song “Happy Days Are Here Again” in November of 1962. It was originally a 1929 song composed by Milton Ager. It was Streisand’s first commercial success of the year following “When the Sun Comes Out.”
“People” is Streisand’s fourth solo album, released in September 1964. The recording for the album was done by August 24th of the same year. It was the first album of Streisand’s to hit number 1 on the Billboard album charts, where it stayed for five weeks and was later certified platinum. She also won a Grammy for the “Best Vocal Performance, Female” later that year.
The album was selected in 2017 for safekeeping and preservation by the National Recording Registry, being regarded as historically, culturally, and artistically significant.
6. A Christmas Album
“A Christmas Album” is the tenth studio album by recording artist Barbara Streisand and her first Holiday album. The album was released on October 16th, 1967, and peaked at number 1, spending five weeks making it the best all-time selling holiday album of 1967 in the country.
On May 5th, 1999, the album was certified as Platinum four times by the RIAA.
7. The Way We Were
“The Way We Were” is the 15th studio album recorded by Barbara Streisand. It was released in January 1974 after the commercial success of its lead single released on earlier September 27th, 1973, with the same name.
Three new songs were recorded for the CD, while six others got their material from the previous unreleased Streisand projects. The album reached the top on the Billboard 200 in the US and became certified platinum twice by the Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA.
In the Film Industry
1. Funny Girl
“Funny Girl” was the first film that Barbara Streisand ever debuted in and starred in. It was the starting point of her acting career in the film industry. The movie was directed by William Wyler and was released on September 18th, 1968, which was both an artistic and commercial success. It was given a budget of 14.1 million dollars for production, while in the Box Office, it grossed 58.5 million dollars.
“Funny Girl” is classified as a biographical, musical, and comedy-drama film. The movie became the highest-grossing film of the year, and Streisand won the 1968 Academy Award for the Best Actress, with Katharine Hepburn was the first time there has been a tie in this Oscar category.
2. Hello, Dolly!
Barbara played the role of Dolly Levi in this 1969 American musical romantic and comedy movie called “Hello Dolly!” based on the Broadway production of 1964 of a similar name.
The movie was released on December 16th, 1969 and directed by Gene Kelly, and was written and produced by Ernest Lehman. The movie’s budget was 25 million, whereas the Box Office’s grossing generated about 26 million.
It is about a girl named Dolly Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker who travels to New York to locate a suitable match for the miserly “well-known single half a millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. As a result, she persuades his niece, his nieces intended and Horace’s two clerks to visit him in New York.
3. On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever
“On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever” is a musical comedy-drama that Vincente Minnelli directed. The movie was released on June 17th, 1970, and the screenplay of the film was written by Alan Jay Lerner, which was adapted from his book of 1965 of a similar name. The songs in the drama have lyrics by Lerner and music by Burton Lane.
Barbara played the role of Daisy Gamble in the movie. The movie managed to bring in 14 million dollars with a budget of 8 million dollars and was also nominated for AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals by the American Film Institute.
4. What’s Up, Doc?
“What’s up, Doc?” was a romantic film released by Warner Bro on March 10th, 1972. It was directed by Peter Bogdanovich and written by Buck Henry, David Newman, and Robert Benton. The budget given was 4 million for production, and the Box Office generated about 66 million in sales.
Barbara played the role of Judy Maxwell in this movie, and it won the Writer’s Guild of America’s 1973 “Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen Award.” The film was a great success and became the third highest-grossing film of the year.
Barbara Streisand as a Director and Producer
Along with acting, she also explored the field of directing and producing. The following were the movies she directed:
“Yentl” is a romantic-musical film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Barbara Streisand along with the help of Jack Rosenthal on the screenplay and Larry DeWaay, Rusty Lemonrande, and John Davis on the production.
The movie was debuted on November 18th, 1983, and distributed by MGM. The production took a while with a budget of about 16 million, later on grossing 40.2 million in the Box Office.
The movie features the story of Yentl Mendel, played by Barbara Streisand herself, regarding her life in Poland and her meeting a guy and falling in love with him. The movie won the Academy Awards for the “Best Original Score” and the Golden Globe Awards for the “Best Director” in 1983.
2. The Prince of Tides
“The Prince of Tides” was another romantic drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name, was directed and co-produced by Barbara Streisand and Andrew S. Karsch, with screenplay done by Pat Conroy and Becky Johnston.
The movie was distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on December 25th, 1991. The production cost was 30 million total, meanwhile grossing 135 million in the Box Office. The movie was later nominated for seven Academy Awards but unfortunately didn’t win any.
The movie features the life of a teacher and a football as he struggles and goes through depression and suicidal problems of her sister and tries to overcome the psychological issues going on in the family with the help of Dr. Susan Lowenstein, played by Barbara Streisand. It is a very emotional drama-type film that’s worthy of checking out.
3. The Mirror Has Two Faces
“The Mirror Has Two Faces” is another romantic comedy movie based on a 1958 French film “Le Miroir à deux faces” and was directed and co-produced by Barbara Streisand, Arnon Milchan and Ronald L. Schwary.
The screenplay was done by Richard LaGravenese and was released on November 15th, 1996. The film made about 41 million dollars in the US and 82 million worldwide. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards and won the “Best Supporting Actress” played by Lauren Bacall.
The movie features two Columbia university teachers; one is an English teacher named Rose Morgan, played by Barbara Streisand, and a Mathematics teacher named Gregory Larkin, played by Jeff Bridges. They are both frustrated and fed up with their lives. In their search for each other, funny events unfold, making it an interesting love story wrapped in a comedy and thrill.
Barbara Streisand – A Living Legend of Entertainment Industry
Barbara is definitely on that list when talking about the most famous female pop artists of the 70s, multi Grammy Award winners, top singers, best writers, producers, actors, and directors. She’s not only talented with her voice but is also great on the screen. She’s outspoken in the field of politics, for speaking up against oppression, and a civil rights activist. She’s got it all, heaps of talent and skills that make her truly one of the best and living legends in the entertainment industry.