Streisand, Barbra

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Streisand, Barbra

Barbra Streisand, 1942–, American singer and actress, b. New York City. Streisand first gained a relatively small but select audience singing in New York City cabarets, and she received her first wide critical and public acclaim for her supporting role in the Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962). She cemented her fame with her show-stopping portrayal of Fanny Brice in another musical, Funny Girl (1964), and won an Academy Award for her performance in the film version (1968). Noted for her strong, clear soprano voice and her dynamic presence, she has made numerous popular recordings and was the first artist to reach the top of the pop recording charts in six consecutive decades, from People in 1964 to Partners in 2014. Among her other films are Hello, Dolly (1969), The Owl and the Pussy Cat (1970), What's Up, Doc? (1972), and The Way We Were (1973). Later films include Yentl (1983), which she also wrote, directed, and produced; The Prince of Tides (1991), which she also directed; and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).

See biographies by J. Kimbrell (2 vol., 1989–92) and J. Spada (1995); biography of her early life by W. J. Mann (2012).

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