Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Barbra Streisand
Birthdate: January 1, 1970
Famous Years: 1961-Present
Currently Known For: Stage Performances and Film Acting
|Networth: $340 Million||Famous For: Singing and Acting Career|
January 1, 1970
Stage Performances and Film Acting
Singing and Acting Career
She hasn’t had a song reach the top 10 on the United States mainstream charts in more than 20 years, and her only two film appearances in the past 15 years have both earned her Razzie Award nominations for the worst actress (and supporting actress) of the year. Yet, everybody knows who Barbra Streisand is, and she’s one of the biggest legends in the history of entertainment.
Born on April 24, 1942, Streisand was brought into a family of singers, but her father passed away when she was just one year old. Coming from a Jewish background, Streisand was a good student that was focused on her schoolwork, but did dazzle as a singer in her neighborhood. After singing at assemblies and in front of classmates, Streisand took to the stage as a teenager and took any job in theater that she could to get her name out there, even if it meant not being on stage.
Streisand was actually born with the first name Barbara (the typical spelling), but decided that when she was 18 years old that she wanted to drop the second ‘a’. Some had told her to change her last name when she was trying to make it big, but Streisand decided to change the spelling of her first name instead. Streisand said she didn’t like the name Barbara. “I wanted to be unique, but I didn’t want to change my name because that was too false,” she said. “It’s still ‘Barbara,’ but it’s unique.”
Streisand worked hard to try to break into fame, despite the wishes of her own mother. “My mother didn’t believe in me,” Streisand said. “She kept telling me, ‘Do what your father did, become a teacher...learn to type.’ And that’s when I let my nails grow long, so I couldn’t type. Believe me, I wish I could type now. I have to dictate everything into a tape recorder.”
One of the jobs that Streisand took on to get some experience was as an usher. She couldn’t afford to see plays and musicals on her own, so she decided that getting paid to see them would be the best alternative. “I knew that I would be famous,” Streisand said while talking about her time as an usher. It turned out, she was absolutely right.
Streisand would then start performing at nightclubs as a singer, opening up for comedians, and it earned her the exposure that she needed to attract record producers. Streisand had performed songs on television, including “The Tonight Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show”. In 1963, she was able to release her first album called “The Barbra Streisand Album” that won her multiple Grammy Awards and reached the top 10 in the record charts.
Television specials then became the norm for Streisand as she found herself with a much larger audience, and she would branch out into acting during the 1960s when the Broadway play she starred in, “Funny Girl”, was adapted to the big screen and became a huge success.
Along the way, Streisand has had many of her hit songs reach the top of the charts, and is the only performer that’s had a number one album peak at number one in every decade since the 1960s. Her biggest hit songs to date include “Woman in Love”, “Evergreen” and “The Way We Were”, which all stayed atop the charts for three weeks each.
Outside of “Funny Girl”, Streisand has found success in movies with “Yentl”, “The Prince of Tides” and “What’s Up, Doc?” just to name a few. She’s been nominated for two Oscars for Best Actress, winning for “Funny Girl”. She was also nominated for Best Original Song twice, winning in 1977 with “Evergreen”. You can also add an impressive eight Grammy Award wins and 44 total nominations to her lengthy resume, which places her toward the top of solo performers.
Early on in her career, Streisand was in a relationship with Elliott Gould, an actor that appeared in movies such as “The Long Goodbye” and “California Split”. In 1966, Streisand gave birth to her only child, son Jason Gould. Streisand and Gould would part ways in 1971, leading her to start dating Jon Peters for several years without a marriage. Streisand has been married once since her previous marriage, tying the knot with actor James Brolin. In 2018, the couple celebrates their 20th anniversary of marriage.
Now 76 years old, Streisand still has plenty of touring and music left to perform, releasing her most recent album in 2016 and publishing her autobiography recently. Streisand is still a huge draw at the box office, as she raked in more than $50 million in her most recent tour that had 16 performances, pulling in $3.3 million per show. While the film career seems to have come to an end in earnest, Streisand won’t rule out a return and is focusing on creating new songs for the current generation (and her older fans) to enjoy.