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Actress / Singer/ Broadway Star / Barbara Streisand / Biography


Barbara Joan Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, to Emanuel and Diana (Rosen) Streisand. Her father was a high school English teacher who died when Streisand was only fifteen months old. Her mother raised Barbara and her older brother, Sheldon, by working as a secretary in the New York City public school system. Her mother remarried in the late 1940s.

Streisand has described her childhood as painful. She was shy as a child, and often felt rejected by other children because her looks were unusual. She accentuated her uniqueness by wearing odd outfits and by avoiding school activities. She also felt rejected by her mother and her stepfather, who was a used-car salesman.

Streisand graduated from high school when she was sixteen years old and moved to Manhattan in New York City, where she shared an apartment with friends. At this time Streisand changed the spelling of her first name to “Barbra.” She worked in several small plays during this time and also sang in nightclubs.

Streisand was spotted by a Broadway producer and was hired to appear in the musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale. The production opened in March of 1962, ran for nine months, and produced a very well-received cast album. With the popularity of her stage role, she was an almost overnight success.

Streisand was signed by Columbia Records and recorded The Barbra Streisand Album and The Barbra Streisand Second Album in 1963. Both albums were very successful. The Barbra Streisand Album won Streisand a Grammy for both album of the year and best female vocal. She followed up with The Barbra Streisand Third Album.

Streisand then took the role of the comedian and singer Fanny Brice in the Broadway production of Funny Girl in 1964. It was one of the most successful stage productions in the history of Broadway, and her performance in it would win her first of many Golden Globe Awards.

Streisand’s next album, People, was one of her highest-selling albums and earned her a third Grammy Award.

In addition to performing in motion pictures and on television throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Streisand continued to release albums. After Funny Girl—Original Broadway Cast Recording there would be over fifty Streisand albums released. Over the years she has recorded duets with performers Barry Gibb (1946–), Bryan Adams, Don Johnson, Neil Diamond (1941–), Kim Carnes, Johnny Mathis, and Michael Crawford.

After receiving a death threat in 1967, Streisand developed stage fright and stopped performing in public concerts. She commented to Susan Price of Ladies Home Journal, “You don’t get over stage fright—you just don’t perform.” However, new friendships seemed to have a positive impact. In the early 1990s she began to grow closer to her mother and became friends with then-President Bill Clinton (1946–) and his wife Hillary (1947–).

Streisand did a world tour in 1994, starting in London, England, and ending in New York City. Her shows were some of the biggest moneymaking concerts of the year.

Streisand released Higher Ground in November of 1997 and it immediately became number one on the Billboard chart. It set a record for the greatest span of time between a performer’s first and most recent number one albums—thirty-three years. The first single released from the album, “Tell Him,” a duet with Celine Dion (1968–), was immediately a Top 40 hit and was nominated for a Grammy Award.





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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