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Barbra STREISAND

American Barbra STREISAND

born Barbara Joan STREISAND

American singer, actress, film producer and director

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on April 24, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, USA  (78 years)


Biography

Barbara Joan Streisand was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family, the daughter of Emmanuel and Diana (née Rosen) Streisand, both of Austrian descent. She is the second of two children fathered by Emmanuel (the elder child is Sheldon), who was a respected high school teacher. Fifteen months after Streisand's birth, Emmanuel died of a cerebral hemorrhage and the family went into near-poverty. Streisand attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club. Diana Rosen Streisand remarried Louis Kind in 1949 and gave Streisand a half-sister, the singer Roslyn Kind (Kind is 9 years younger than Barbra).

Barbra Streisand became a nightclub singer while in her teens. She wanted to be an actress and appeared in summer stock and in a number of Off-Off-Broadway productions, including Driftwood (1959), with then-unknown Joan Rivers. (In her autobiography, Rivers wrote that she played a lesbian with a crush on Streisand's character, but this was later denied by the play's author.) Driftwood ran for only six weeks. When her boyfriend, Barry Dennen, helped her create a club act — first performed at The Lion, a popular gay nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in 1960 — she achieved success as a singer. While singing at The Lion for several weeks, she changed her name from Barbara to Barbra. Afterward she appeared at other New York nightclubs, including the Bon Soir and the Blue Angel. One early appearance outside of New York City was at Enrico Banducci’s hungry i nightclub in San Francisco. In 1961, Streisand appeared at the Town and Country nightclub in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, but her appearance was cut short; the club owner did not appreciate her singing style. Streisand appeared at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit in 1961.

Streisand's first television appearance was on The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Paar, in 1961, singing Harold Arlen's "A Sleepin' Bee". Orson Bean, who substituted for Paar that night, had seen the singer perform at a gay bar and booked her for the telecast (Her older brother Sheldon paid NBC for a kinescope film so she could use it in 1961 to promote herself. Decades later the film was preserved through digitizing and is available for viewing on a website). Streisand became a semi-regular on PM East/PM West, a talk/variety series hosted by Mike Wallace, in late 1961. Westinghouse Broadcasting, which aired PM East/PM West in a select few cities (Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago and San Francisco), has since wiped all the videotapes because of the cost of videotape at the time. Audio segments from some episodes are part of the compilation CD Just for the Record, which went platinum in 1991. The singer said on 60 Minutes in 1991 that 30 years earlier Mike Wallace had been "mean" to her on PM East/PM West. He countered that she had been "self-absorbed." 60 Minutes included the audio of Streisand saying to him in 1961, "I like the fact that you are provoking. But don't provoke me."

In 1962, after several appearances on PM East/PM West, Streisand first appeared on Broadway, in the small but star-making role of Miss Marmelstein in the musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale. Her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, won two Grammy Awards in 1963. Following her success in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Streisand made several appearances on The Tonight Show in 1962 and 1963. Topics covered in her interviews with host Johnny Carson included the empire-waisted dresses that she bought wholesale, to her "crazy" reputation at Erasmus Hall High School. As is the case with Mike Wallace, only audio survives from small portions of her telecast conversations with Carson. It was at about this time that Streisand entered into a long and successful professional relationship with Lee Solters and Sheldon Roskin as her publicists with the firm Solters/Roskin (later Solters/Roskin/Friedman).

Streisand returned to Broadway in 1964 with an acclaimed performance as entertainer Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Winter Garden Theatre. The show introduced two of her signature songs, "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." Because of the play's overnight success, she appeared on the cover of Time. In 1966, she repeated her success with Funny Girl in London's West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre. From 1965 to 1967 she appeared in her first four solo television specials.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category Actor, Director, Singer & Musician