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Barbra Streisand

As film director, producer, writer, actress, singer and composer, Barbra Streisand's career has been paved with bold creative achievements, highlighted by a series of firsts. Prince of Tides was the first motion picture directed by its female star ever to receive a Best Director nomination for the Director's Guild of America, as well as seven Academy Award nominations. Her directorial debut film, Yentl, earned her Golden Globe Awards both as Best Director and producer of the Best Picture (musical or comedy).

She earned the New York Drama Critics Award and a Tony nomination with her first Broadway appearance (I Can Get It For You Wholesale) and the Album of the Year Grammy (one of two) for her very first record album (The Barbra Streisand Album). She became the youngest artist ever to have won that at the time. Her first motion picture performance (Funny Girl), following her performance in the hit Broadway musical production, brought her the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress, the first of two Oscars. And with Yentl, she became the first woman ever to produce, direct and star in a major motion picture. At the same time, Steven Spielberg called it the best directing debut since Citizen Kane.

Her first television special (My Name is Barbra) earned her the Emmy Award (one of five for the show) and the distinguished Peabody Award, and she duplicated this with her most recent television specials, Barbra Streisand: The Concert and Timeless, winning three more personal Emmys and another Peabody in the process. The two shows earned nine Emmys.

She is the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award, this for her song Evergreen, the love theme for her hit film, A Star is Born. Her 1994 concert tour was similarly record-setting, registering five million calls in the first hour of ticket sales. Her Millennium New Year's Eve concert at the MGM Grand Gardens in Las Vegas established the highest one-day single event sale in the history of Ticketmaster and became the highest-grossing concert of all time. Her double album, Timeless, which captured that production, quickly was confirmed both Gold and Platinum, while her adaptation of the production for the four concerts in Los Angeles and New York 2000 Tour, with which the star concluded her live public concert career, was similarly a record-setting success. Her 2001 release Christmas Memories was certified gold and platinum in its first month.

Recipient in 1995 of an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University, Barbra Streisand is a rare honoree, the only artist to earn Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe, CableACE, Peabody Award and the American Film Institutes Lifetime Achievement honor. She is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Medal of Arts Award and has been honored by France as a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. Barbra also received a number of major honors saluting her social and political activism and her dedicated philanthropy. Her total of 10 Golden Globe Awards, prior to being voted the year 2000's Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, is the most accorded any artist.

Barbra Streisand's popularity has endured for nearly four decades. According to the Recording Industry Association of America her total gold and platinum albums (her most recent release, The Movie Album, quickly became her 49th gold and 30th platinum album) makes her the highest selling female recording artist ever, with number one albums in each of the last four decades, and number one albums spanning a period of over 35 years, the greatest longevity in that statistic for any recording artist or group. Her 13 multi-platinum albums, accredited by the RIAA, are similarly record-setting.

A recent national poll by the Reuters News Agency named her and Frank Sinatra the favorite female and male singers of the century, and the Recording Industry Association of America confirmed her as the leading female recording artist of the 20th century.

Her Barwood Films, through which she has created such films as Yentl, The Prince Tides, The Mirror Has Two Faces (all of which she directed and starred in), A Star Is Born, Nuts and Up the Sandbox, has helped to bring significant and largely ignored subject matter to both the big and small screens. On television, these include the multiple Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, which dealt with the civil rights of gays, and other shows exploring the imperatives of gun control (The Long Island Incident: The Caroline McCarthy Story) and the celebration of women film pioneers in the Emmy-winning documentary, Reel Women. Serving in Silence was acknowledged by gay and lesbian civil rights groups for its bold revelation and protest of discrimination in the military.

Much of the star's energy and resources are channeled into charity through the Streisand Foundation, which has directed millions of dollars to such concerns as the environment, the plight of at-risk women and children, civil rights including gay rights, research and assistance addressing such diseases as AIDS and cancer and ameliorating relations between religious and ethnic groups. Her political activism has been similarly notable, raising funds and awareness for urgent civil rights and humanitarian issues. From her early days supporting Bella Abzug and George McGovern to her current civil liberties and environmental advocacy, Barbra Streisand has been an active participant in supporting Democrats and progressive causes.

Her taste and talent as a collector of art, furniture and artifacts and as a creator of distinctive living environments is well acknowledged by leading publications in those fields of interest.

She is married to actor/director James Brolin.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Barbra Streisand Facts

Birth NameBarbara Joan Streisand
OccupationMusician, Actress, Director
BirthdayApril 24, 1942 (75)
SignTaurus
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height5' 5" (1m65)  How tall is Barbra Streisand compared to you?
Awards2001 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program (for Timeless: Live in Concert)
2000 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award
1984 Golden Globe Awards: Best Director - Motion Picture (for Yentl)
1977 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for A Star Is Born)
1969 Academy Awards: Best Actress (for Funny Girl)
1969 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for Funny Girl)

Selected Filmography

The Barbra Streisand Collection
Funny Girl
A Star Is Born
Nuts
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Yentl
The Mirror Has Two Faces
The Way We Were
What's Up, Doc?
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