Yoon Joung Lee
American actress, singer, director, producer and writer; Barbra Streisand, was born into a middle class Jewish family in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Diana Streisand, was at one time a singer and her father, Emanuel Streisand, was a respected high school teacher. She grew up dreaming to become an actress.
The first school she attended was the Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva of Brooklyn. There she gave a solo performance at the age of seven. Then she went to Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, where she joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club.
While Streisand was in her teens, she became a nightclub singer. She also debuted on the Broadway musical comedy, "I Can't Get It For You Wholesale" in 1962. With this show, she received a Tony Award Best Supporting Actress nomination and New York Drama Critics Poll Award.
The following year, her first Columbia solo album release, Barbra Streisand Album won two Grammy Awards including Best Album of the Year in 1963. After her first album release, she made several appearances on The Tonight Show. In 1964, she returned to Broadway and continued to increase her fame with a new original Broadway show, "Funny Girl." Around that time, "The Judy Garland Show" made a love call for her and she signed an exclusive contract with CBS for a series of annual TV specials; "My Name is Barbra" and "Color Me Barbra" which were extremely successful.
In the 1960s, she recorded fifty studio albums - including her debut "The Barbra Streisand Album," "The Second Barbra Streisand Album," "The Third Album," "My Name is Barbra," etc. mainly with Columbia Records. She also aimed for television. Her shows "My Name is Barbra (1965)" and "Color Me Barbra (1966)" were aired on TV. From 1967 to 1986, she appeared in a total of ten more television specials. At the age of twenty six, she became the largest selling female singer of popular standards.
In 1968, she flew to Hollywood for her first movie "Funny Girl."This movie made her an international superstar as it hit even abroad. This movie led her to win the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress for the role. In 1969, she won a Golden Globe award as Best Female World Film Favorite with the motion picture "Hello, Dolly." After various successes on motion pictures, she concentrated more on movies while she appeared in "What's Up, Doc?" and "Up the Stand-Box,” in 1972.
In 1973, her work "The Way We Were" gave her another Golden Globe Award. In 1983, Streisand jumped into new fields in directing and producing. In the film "Yentl"- a story of a woman masquerading as a man to get an orthodox Jewish religious education- she directed, produced and starred at the same time and the film earned more than $35 million. Her next film "Nuts" in 1987 was very controversial. The story is about a manslaughter trial of a woman who has to go through a competency trial?. Some people said the film was the best work of her ever, but most critics disliked the film.
Streisand’s next movie "The Prince of Tides" in 1991 was nominated for several Academy Awards and she won a Golden Globe Award for directing. Other than performing in films and TV, she continued to release albums and she recorded numerous duets with Barry Gibb, Bryan Adams, Don Johnson, Neil Diamond, Kim Carnes, Johnny Mathis as well as Michael Crawford. In 1994, she started a world tour beginning in London, England and ending in New York City. Her shows were one of the biggest moneymaking concerts of the year.
In 1997, her album "Higher Ground" became number one on the Billboard chart and her first single from her album "Tell Him" became a Top 40 immediately after the release. She was nominated for a Grammy Award. The next year, she married actor James Brolin and they spend a half of their time in Malibu and another half in Beverly Hills, California. In 1992, she founded The Streisand Foundation to help advocate womens’ rights, civil liberties, and environmental protection. Streisand also has given concerts to help politicians and charities that benefit social causes such as AIDS research.
In 2000, she received a National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. That same year, she had her final live performance in New York City's Madison Square Garden. In 2001, she won an Emmy for her Fox TV Special "Barbra Streisand: Timeless" Streisand has a total of fifty-four recorded albums since her debut. She was the first person to win an Academy Award for both acting and songwriting, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and an Antoinette Perry Award.