She also meets Cis Corman, a young aspiring actress who's older than Barbara. They become life-long friends. Also: At Erasmus Hall, Barbara befriends a year-old outsider named Bobby Fischer who later becomes a world-class chess champion. Barbara gets a job as a switchboard operator, saving money to move to Manhattan. She makes friends with Dustin Hoffman, another struggling actor. She works summer stock at the Cecilwood Theatre. When she returns, Barbara moves out of Brooklyn, sharing an apartment on 48th Street with another girl.
Streisand makes the rounds of Broadway producers, but is completely turned off by the experience. She auditions for the role of Leisel, but is turned down. But casting agent Eddie Blum likes her voice that he brings in pianist Peter Daniels to hear her. Barbara is cast in the off-Broadway play "The Insect Comedy. Barbara asks Barry to listen to her sing. He likes her voice and encourages her to become an actress in song.
Barbara enters a talent contest at The Lion, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. Her prize is an engagement at the club. She officially changes her name, dropping the middle "a" from Barbara " She's hired. Barbra auditions at the swanky, uptown Blue Angel nightclub. Erlichman tries in vain to convince Columbia Records to sign Barbra to a recording contract. Barbra plays the Blue Angel.
She also records an audition album for RCA Records, doing most of the material she's been doing in the clubs. Barbra's cast as Miss Marmelstein and begins dating Elliott. At the time, Anne Bancroft is the lead candidate to play Fanny. When Stephen Sondheim passes on writing the lyrics, Styne asks songwriter Bob Merrill to collaborate with him. They write a handful of song. After hearing them -- which written with Barbra in mind -- Bancroft decides she wants no part of the show. Barbra is nearly fired because of her chronic lateness. However, her second act solo, "Miss Marmelstein," stops the show and her role is expanded.
The show moves on to Boston. Barbra, however, receives all the praise. Because of her work on "Wholesale," composer Harold Rome invites Barbra to participate in the 25th anniversary cast album of his show "Pins and Needles," a special Columbia Records product. Columbia president Goddard Lieberson appreciates Barbra's voice, but still feels her appeal will never go beyond "cult" status. Five days after her 20th birthday, Barbra attends the Tony Awards, where she's the favorite to win "Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.
It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship that will lead to many collaborations, including "The Way We Were" and "Yentl. Barbra appears on "The Garry Moore Show. Atlantic Records is interested in signing Barbra tor a recording contract and Capitol also makes an offer.
Erlichman gives Columbia, his top choice, one last chance to sign Barbra. To keep her from signing with Capitol, and despite his reservations, Goddard Lieberson gives Barbra a contract with Columbia Records. Barbra officially signs her contract with Columbia Records. The initial deal is modest, but Marty negotiates to get her creative control. Barbra would be able to choose her own material, dictate the cover art and title her albums. Streisand is recorded live at the Bon Soir for her first album. The quality was not good enough for a debut album, but the material is eventually released as part of " Just For The Record.
It had moved from the Shubert Theatre mid-run. Barbra plays her final engagement at the Blue Angel. The comedy team of Stiller and Meara are her opening act. Barbra's first album, "The Barbra Streisand Album" is released. Streisand appears at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. Barbra appears at the hungry i in San Francisco. Following her successful TV appearances, Columbia re-releases the "Happy Days" single to get disk jockeys to begin playing Barbra's music on the radio.
Streisand appears on "The Dinah Shore Show. Kennedy sees her and she's invited to perform at the White House Correspondents Dinner. When she's introduced to JFK, Barbra asks for his autograph He obliges and asks her how long she has been singing. Liberace had become a fan after seeing her at the Bon Soir and on "Ed Sullivan.
After months of speculation, Barbra is announced as the winner of the coveted role of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical "Funny Girl. It stays on the Billboard charts for 74 weeks. Streisand opens a two-week engagement at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, attracting movie-studded audiences who were dazzled by her.
Marty Erlichman is the best man. The couple honeymoons at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Barbra tapes "The Judy Garland Show. Her performance resulted in the Top 10, million-selling album, The Concert. Streisand's philanthropy and activism also extends to her Barwood Film's productions, such as The Long Island Incident , which inspired a national debate on gun control.
Streisand is an outspoken Democrat, and has used her talents and fame to support multiple candidates and causes, including Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Prior to her year stage absence, Streisand devoted her unpaid live concert performances exclusively to the benefit of the causes she supports. A year later, a new holiday album, Christmas Memories arrived. It was the artist's first full-length studio album since 's A Love Like Ours. In , she returned to the concert stage, documented in the Live in Concert. And in a long awaited return to film, Streisand appeared in 's Meet the Fockers.
Streisand released the albums Love Is the Answer which reached gold-selling status in the U. In the fall of , Streisand announced the arrival a new album: Release Me , a collection of unreleased material from several sessions over the course of her career. She followed in with Partners , an album of duets with a series of acclaimed male artists, including Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and John Legend. Streisand married for a second time on July 1, , to actor James Brolin. The news drew the disapproval of animal-rights group PETA, which noted that cloning does not recreate the original dog and suggested the singer could have found a wonderful new dog at a shelter.
The statistics of Barbra Streisand's achievements are staggering. She is credited for creating dozens of gold- and platinum-selling albums, and is regarded as the top-selling female artist of all time. Streisand has had No. She is second in the all-time charts, ahead of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and exceeded by only Elvis Presley.
In , she was further honored as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Sign up for the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.
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Actress Audrey Hepburn, star of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,' remains one of Hollywood's greatest style icons and one of the world's most successful actresses. Actress and singer Lena Horne was one of the most popular performers of her time, known for films such as 'Cabin in the Sky' and 'The Wiz' as well as her trademark song, "Stormy Weather. Although she knew her voice was good and she liked the attention, becoming an actress was her main objective.
That desire was made stronger when she saw her first Broadway play, The Diary of Anne Frank, when she was The star in the play was Susan Strasberg , whose acting she wanted to emulate if ever given the chance. In addition, she began reading novels and plays, including some by Shakespeare and Ibsen , and also on her own, studied the acting theories of Konstantin Stanislavski and Michael Chekhov.
She also joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, where she sang with another choir member and classmate, Neil Diamond. We hung out in the front of Erasmus High and smoked cigarettes. During the summer of , she got her first stage experience as a walk-on at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York. That small part was followed by a role as the kid sister in Picnic and one as a vamp in Desk Set. To that end, in her second year, she took a night job at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village helping backstage. When she was a senior, she rehearsed for a small part in Driftwood , a play staged in a midtown attic space.
She graduated, aged 16, from Erasmus Hall in January , and despite her mother's pleas that she stay out of show business, she immediately set out trying to get roles on the New York City stage. Aged 16 and then living on her own, Streisand's youth and ambition worked in her favor, but she lacked a mature woman's physical features which were needed for serious female roles. She therefore took various menial jobs to have some income.
Barbra Streisand on Spotify
At one period, she lacked a permanent address, and found herself sleeping at the home of friends or anywhere else she could set up the army cot she carried around to save on rent expense. When desperate, she would return to her mother's flat in Brooklyn for a home-cooked meal. However, her mother would be horrified by her daughter's "gypsy-like lifestyle," wrote biographer Karen Swenson , and again begged her to give up trying to get into show business;  : 6 but Streisand took her mother's pleadings as even more reason to keep trying: "My desires were strengthened by wanting to prove to my mother that I could be a star.
During the run of the play, she heard that the casting director was auditioning for more singers, and it marked the first time she sang in pursuit of a job. That suggestion prodded Streisand to think seriously about a singing career, in addition to acting. She asked her boyfriend, Barry Dennen , to tape her singing, copies of which she could then give out to possible employers. Dennen had acted with her briefly in an off-Broadway play, but had no reason to think she had any talent as a singer, and she never mentioned it.
Nevertheless, he agreed and found a guitarist to accompany her:. We spent the afternoon taping, and the moment I heard the first playback I went insane This nutty little kook had one of the most breathtaking voices I'd ever heard Dennen grew enthusiastic and he convinced her to enter a talent contest at the Lion, a gay nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
She performed two songs, after which there was a "stunned silence" from the audience, followed by "thunderous applause" when she was pronounced the winner. It became her first professional engagement, in September , where she was the opening act for comedian Phyllis Diller.
She recalls it was the first time she had been in that kind of upscale environment: "I'd never been in a nightclub until I sang in one. His effort made a difference in her developing style as she gained new respect for the art of popular singing. She also realized she could still become an actress by first gaining recognition as a singer. Feeling more self-confident, she improved her stage presence when speaking to the audience between songs.
She discovered that her Brooklyn-bred style of humor was received quite favorably. Her conversational ability to charm an audience with spontaneous humor during performances became more sophisticated and professional. Streisand never lost her desire to be a stage actress and accepted her first role on the New York stage in Another Evening with Harry Stoones , a satirical comedy play in which she acted and sang two solos.
The show received terrible reviews and closed the next day. With the help of her new personal manager, Martin Erlichman , she had successful shows in Detroit and St. Erlichman then booked her at an even more upscale nightclub in Manhattan, Blue Angel, where she became a bigger hit during the period of to Streisand once told Jimmy Fallon , whom she sang a duet with,  on the Tonight Show , that Erlichman was a "fantastic manager" and still managed her career after 50 years. She got the part of secretary to the lead actor businessman, played by then unknown Elliott Gould. The show opened on March 22, , at the Shubert Theater , and received rave reviews.
Her performance "stopped the show cold," wrote Nickens,  : 9 and she became Broadway's most exciting and youngest new star. Streisand's first television appearance was on The Tonight Show , then credited to its usual host Jack Paar. She was seen during an April episode on which Orson Bean substituted for Paar. Her sad, slow version of the s upbeat Democratic Party theme song became her signature song during this early phase of her career.
Johnny Carson had her on the Tonight Show half a dozen times in and , and she became a favorite of his television audience and himself personally. He described her as an "exciting new singer. She was later a cohost on the Mike Douglas Show , and also made an impact on a number of Bob Hope specials.
Performing with her on The Ed Sullivan Show was Liberace who became an instant fan of the young singer. Liberace is credited with introducing Barbra to Western American audiences. With her career and popularity rising so quickly, she saw her marriage to Gould as a "stabilizing influence.
Barbra Streisand Can Hear Herself Again
Streisand received an honorary "Star of the Decade" Tony Award in From to she appeared in her first four solo television specials. Streisand has recorded 50 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records. Garland referred to her on the air as one of the last great belters. Beginning with My Name Is Barbra , her early albums were often medley-filled keepsakes of her television specials.
Starting in , she began attempting more contemporary material, but like many talented singers of the day, she found herself out of her element with rock. Her vocal talents prevailed, and she gained newfound success with the pop and ballad-oriented Richard Perry -produced album Stoney End in The title track , written by Laura Nyro , was a major hit for Streisand. As the s ended, Streisand was named the most successful female singer in the U. The album contained the hits " Woman in Love " which spent several weeks on top of the pop charts in the fall of , " Guilty ", and " What Kind of Fool ".
After years of largely ignoring Broadway and traditional pop music in favor of more contemporary material, Streisand returned to her musical-theater roots with 's The Broadway Album , which was unexpectedly successful, holding the coveted No. The album featured tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein , George Gershwin , Jerome Kern , and Stephen Sondheim , who was persuaded to rework some of his songs especially for this recording. The Broadway Album was met with acclaim, including a Grammy nomination for album of the year and handed Streisand her eighth Grammy as Best Female Vocalist.
After releasing the live album One Voice in , Streisand was set to release another album of Broadway songs in Streisand was not happy with the direction of the project and it was scrapped. At the beginning of the s, Streisand started focusing on her film directorial efforts and became almost inactive in the recording studio. In , a four-disc box set, Just for the Record , was released. A compilation spanning Streisand's entire career to date, it featured over 70 tracks of live performances, greatest hits, rarities and previously unreleased material.
The following year, Streisand's concert fundraising events helped propel President Bill Clinton into the spotlight and into office. Streisand's music career, however, was largely on hold. A appearance at an APLA benefit as well as the aforementioned inaugural performance hinted that Streisand was becoming more receptive to the idea of live performances. A tour was suggested, though Streisand would not immediately commit to it, citing her well-known stage fright as well as security concerns. During this time, Streisand finally returned to the recording studio and released Back to Broadway in June The album was not as universally lauded as its predecessor, but it did debut at No.
In , The New York Times music critic Stephen Holden wrote that Streisand "enjoys a cultural status that only one other American entertainer, Frank Sinatra, has achieved in the last half century". Tickets for the tour were sold out in under an hour. Streisand also appeared on the covers of major magazines in anticipation of what Time magazine named "The Music Event of the Century". The tour was one of the biggest all-media merchandise parlays in history. Following the tour's conclusion, Streisand once again kept a low profile musically, instead focusing her efforts on acting and directing duties as well as a burgeoning romance with actor James Brolin.
It reached 8 on the Billboard Hot , and was her first significant hit in almost a decade and her first top 10 hit on the Hot and first gold single since The album received generally favorable reviews and once again debuted at No. Following her marriage to Brolin in , Streisand recorded an album of love songs entitled A Love Like Ours the following year.
Reviews were mixed, with many critics complaining about the somewhat syrupy sentiments and overly-lush arrangements; however, it did produce a modest hit for Streisand in the country-tinged "If You Ever Leave Me", a duet with Vince Gill. On New Year's Eve , Streisand returned to the concert stage, selling out in the first few hours, eight months before her return.
A two-disc live album of the concert entitled Timeless: Live in Concert was released in Streisand performed versions of the Timeless concert in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, in early In advance of four concerts two each in Los Angeles and New York in September , Streisand announced that she was retiring from playing public concerts. Her performance of the song " People " was broadcast on the Internet via America Online.
Streisand's most recent albums have been Christmas Memories , a somewhat somber collection of holiday songs, and The Movie Album , featuring famous film themes and backed by a large symphony orchestra. The song is included on Bennett's 80th birthday album, Duets. Streisand's duet with Bennett opened the special.
In , Streisand announced her intent to tour again, in an effort to raise money and awareness for multiple issues. Special guests Il Divo were interwoven throughout the show.
Barbra Streisand - The ultimate icon in London
The show was known as Streisand: The Tour. Streisand's concert tour set box-office records. She set the third-place record for her show of October 9, at Madison Square Garden, the first- and second-place records, of which are held by her two shows in September She set the second-place record at MGM Grand Garden Arena with her December 31, , show being the house record and highest-grossing concert of all time. A collection of performances culled from different stops on this tour, Live in Concert , debuted at No.
The Ireland date was marred by issues with serious parking and seating problems leading to the event's being dubbed a fiasco by Hot Press. In February , Forbes listed Streisand as the No. This album debuted at No. On February 1, , Streisand joined over eighty other artists in recording a new version of the charity single " We Are the World ".
Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie planned to release the new version to mark the 25th anniversary of its original recording. These plans changed, however, in view of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, , and on February 12, the song, now called " We Are the World 25 for Haiti ", made its debut as a charity single to support relief aid for the island nation.
On October 11, , Streisand gave a three-hour concert performance before a crowd of 18, as part of the ongoing inaugural events of Barclays Center and part of her current Barbra Live tour in Brooklyn her first-ever public performance in her home borough. The concert included musical tributes by Streisand to Donna Summer and Marvin Hamlisch , both of whom had died earlier in Streisand is one of many singers who use teleprompters during their live performances.
Streisand has defended her choice in using teleprompters to display lyrics and, sometimes, banter. This album topped the Billboard with sales of , copies in the first week, making Streisand the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades. A featured track in this album is "Don't Lie to Me. Her first film was a reprise of her Broadway hit, Funny Girl , an artistic and commercial success directed by Hollywood veteran William Wyler. Streisand won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the role,  sharing it with Katharine Hepburn The Lion in Winter , the only time there has been a tie in this Oscar category.
During the s, Streisand starred in several screwball comedies , including What's Up, Doc? Streisand's initial outing with First Artists was Up the Sandbox From to , Streisand appeared in Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll , the annual motion picture exhibitors poll of Top 10 Box Office attractions a total of 10 times,  often as the only woman on the list. After the commercially disappointing All Night Long in , Streisand's film output decreased considerably.
She has acted in only eight films since. Streisand produced a number of her own films, setting up Barwood Films in There was controversy when Yentl received five Academy Award nominations, but none for the major categories of Best Picture, actress, or Director.
Upon completion of the film, its screenwriter, Pat Conroy , who also authored the novel, called Streisand "a goddess who walks upon the earth. Streisand also scripted Yentl , something for which she is not always given credit. She reprised the role of Roz Focker alongside Dustin Hoffman. Streisand is set to direct the historical drama Catherine the Great , a feature biopic about the 18th-century Russian empress, based on the top Black List script, produced by Gil Netter. Streisand possesses a mezzo-soprano voice,   which Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald describes as "peerless".
Even though she can't read or write music, Barbra hears melodies as completed compositions in her head. She hears a melody and takes it in, learning it quickly. Barbra developed her ability to sustain long notes because she wanted to. She can mold a tune that others cannot; she's able to sing between song and speech, keeping in tune, carrying rhythm and meaning.
While she is predominantly a pop singer, Streisand's voice has been described as "semi-operatic" due to its strength and quality of tone. The former quality led classical pianist Glenn Gould to call himself "a Streisand freak". In recent years, critics and audiences have noted that her voice has "lowered and acquired an occasionally husky edge".
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However, New York Times music critic Stephen Holden noted that her distinctive tone and musical instincts remain, and that she still "has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound". Streisand has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Elliott Gould , to whom she was married from until He went on to be her manager and producer.
Streisand dated tennis champion Andre Agassi in the early s. Writing about the relationship in his autobiography, Agassi said: "We agree that we're good for each other, and so what if she's twenty-eight years older? We're simpatico , and the public outcry only adds spice to our connection. It makes our friendship feel forbidden, taboo — another piece of my overall rebellion. Dating Barbra Streisand is like wearing Hot Lava. Her second husband is actor James Brolin , whom she married on July 1, Streisand is the owner of multiple dogs, and she loved her dog Samantha so much, that she had her cloned.
In March , Streisand apologized for her controversial statements about Michael Jackson 's accusers. Streisand changed her name from "Barbara" to "Barbra" because, she said, "I hated the name, but I refused to change it. You know, people were saying you could be Joanie Sands, or something like that. My middle name is Joan. And I said, 'No, let's see, if I take out the 'a,' it's still 'Barbara,' but it's unique.
In the early years of her career, Streisand's interest in politics was limited, with the exception of her participation in activities of the anti-nuclear group Women Strike for Peace in and Streisand has long been an active supporter of the Democratic Party and many of its causes. She was among the celebrities on President Richard Nixon 's list of political enemies. Kennedy School of Government about the role of the artist as citizen, in support of arts programs and funding. Streisand is a supporter of gay rights, and in helped raise funds in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat California Proposition 8.
In June , she helped celebrate the 90th birthday of Shimon Peres held at Jerusalem 's international convention center. Introduced by Rufus Wainwright , Streisand appeared on stage and made a speech. Streisand has always been vocal about her support towards Democrats. In an interview to The Guardian , days before the launch of her new album, Walls, she revealed the broader theme — the danger Donald Trump poses towards her beloved country.
She said, "This is a dangerous time in this nation, this republic: a man who is corrupt and indecent and is assaulting our institutions. It's really, really frightening. And I just pray that people who are compassionate and respect the truth will come out and vote. I'm saying more than just vote. Vote for Democrats! In , Streisand donated the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , in the Mount Scopus campus, in memory of her father, an educator and scholar who died when she was young.
Clinton Foundation in support of former President Bill Clinton 's climate change initiative. At Julien's Auctions in October , Streisand, a longtime collector of art and furniture, sold items, with all the proceeds going to her foundation. Items included a costume from Funny Lady and a vintage dental cabinet purchased by the performer at 18 years old. The sale's most valuable lot was a painting by Kees van Dongen. In December , she appeared at a fundraising gala for Israel Defense Forces charities. In , Streisand was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.
She received Breakthrough Awards for "making films that portray women with serious complexity" at the Women, Men and Media symposium in Bush presented her Kennedy Center Honors , the highest recognition of cultural achievement. In , she was given Board of Governors Humanitarian Award for her efforts on behalf of women's heart health and her many other philanthropic activities.
In that year, she was also recipient of the Charlie Chaplin Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as the only female artist to direct, write, produce and star in the same major studio film, Yentl,  along with a Lifetime Achievement Glamour Awards.