Barbra Streisand’s career has been long and very successful, I think we can all agree on that.
Over the years, the 80-year-old Brooklyn native has shown her brilliance as an actor, producer, and singer. It’s resulted in her becoming the highest-selling female recording artist of all time, as well as winning some of the most honorable awards along the way.
While Streisand’s career quickly turned into a success story, so did her private life. Since 1998, she’s been married to second-husband James Brolin, and their love story is never-ending. Moreover, the two don’t have to worry about stepping on each other’s toes, as their house – or mansion – is enormous.
Here’s all you need to know about Barbra Streisand – and we’ll take a look inside her fantastic house while we’re at it.
Barbra Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to parents Diana Rosen and Emanuel Streisand. Her early childhood was struck by tragedy when her father died from complications of an epileptic seizure when Barbra was just 15 months old.
Barbra Streisand – early life
Streisand’s mother, Diana, would later re-marry. However, Barbra felt that the new man didn’t like her. As a young child, the now-praised singer and actress decided to go her own way – and it was clear that she had talent right from the start.
At six, Barbra realized she had a good voice. As she describes it, she was “known as the kid who had a good voice and no father.”
“I was kind of a wild child, like an animal, I could never sit still at a table – not that my family ever sat down and ate a meal together,” Barbra told Oprah.
“I used to stand over the stove and eat out of a pot. There was no mealtime. I have no idea when my brother and sister ate because I came in whenever I wanted. I also taught my mother how to smoke when I was 10.”
Suffice to say that Streisand had a tough childhood. Not only did her mother have problems making ends meet, but at school she was often rejected and taunted by other children.
Her mother thought that pursuing a career in show business was a bad idea as Barbra wasn’t attractive enough. Streisand, though, never gave up.
She sang in the school choir at Bais Yakov School, and while in high school, she met a future colleague of hers, Neil Diamond.
Went to two schools simultaneously
At age 15, Streisand’s life changed when she met Anita and Alan Miller. She had a job at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village, where she moved sets and painted scenery. Alan was an acting teacher. For a while, Barbra babysat their children, and in return, Alan gave her a scholarship to his acting school.
Streisand went to both schools simultaneously, and in 1959, graduated from Erasmus Hall High School. Many teenagers had their sights on continuing on to college – Barbra was not one of them.
Instead, she decided to move to New York City to pursue a career in acting. She had no plans for becoming a singer, but that soon changed.
Streisand moved to Manhattan from Brooklyn, and planned on living by herself. She took a job as a clerk at a business firm, and took acting and drama lessons by night.
“I used to hum and my boss would say, ‘Stop humming around here, what do you think you’re in, a show?’ Now when I see him, he asks me if I remember when he used to bawl me out for humming,” she told Seventeen Magazine in 1963.
“I went up to Rodgers and Hammerstein once to audition for the office manager. He got a big kick out of me. Whenever I’d come back they’d get someone at the piano, and I’d sing,” Streisand continued.
Broadway debut led to instant stardodm
“I entered a talent contest about two or two and a half years ago that was sponsored by a club and someone who heard me took me over to the Bon Soir in Greenwich Village to audition for them. I sang there and then came The Blue Angel uptown.”
Suddenly, Barbra had become a person working in show business for real. She got gigs as a singer at clubs, embarking on what some would call a cabaret career.
Streisand had already forged a large fanbase when she got her big breakthrough. In 1962, she made her debut on Broadway, starring in the show I Can Get it For You Wholesale. It was a smash hit, winning Barbra a New York Drama Critics Award and even receiving a Tony nomination. She reportedly received a five-minute-long standing ovation after her first show.
“I wasn’t counting, so I don’t know,” Streisand said when asked about the story five years ago. “All I know is that my salary was $175, and the next day it went up to $350.”
Not only did Barbra show that she was a great on-stage presence, but her voice was tremendous. She made her first studio recording after her Broadway debut. Later the same year, after signing with Columbia Records, she released her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album.
Her music career proved a success story from the beginning, with her first album receiving two Grammy Awards and remaining on the charts for 18 months, and becoming a Top 10-gold record.
Barbra Streisand – movie career and first Academy Award
At the time, she was the youngest artist to ever receive the honor of Grammy for Album of the Year.
Since that moment, Barbra’s career has gone on to be one of the most shining success stories ever. She wasn’t going to simply stop with music albums and Broadway shows. No, moving forward, she would also appear in films, a career Streisand had pursued ever since being a young teenager.
In 1968, six years after her Broadway debut, she made her movie debut in the film version of Funny Girl. Starring as Fanny Brice, Streisand made one of the greatest film debuts in history, winning an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She split the honor with Katherine Hepburn for her performance in The Lion in Winter.
“First I was in shock because I think it was her name first, so I thought ‘Okay that’s good, she was wonderful in that movie, Katharine Hepburn’ and then they said my name and I was tongue-tied,” Streisand told Variety.
“So I had to take out my gum and put it on the bottom of the chair and think about what the h*ll I was going to say and rushing to the stage, tripping on my long pants, pants that were too long and a top you could see through when the lights are on it, so I was kind of a mess, but it was lovely to receive an Academy Award, I must say.”
By then it was clear that the Brooklyn native would be forever remembered as one of the biggest American theatre and film stars – yet even more would follow.
Barbra Streisand – awards, net worth
In total, Streisand’s starred in 19 movies, including The Way We Were, The Prince of Tides – which she also directed – and Funny Lady. Of course, not all of the projects she worked on were hits, but a few flops didn’t hurt her legacy one bit.
In 1976, she won her second Academy Award for Best Original Song, Evergreen. It was the theme song for the film A Star is Born, starring Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, and Gary Busey, among others.
In winning the award, Streisand became historic as the first woman ever to win an Oscar as a composer. All in all, Barbra has directed three feature films, earning 14 Academy Award nominations.
Moreover, she’s won ten Golden Globe Awards, eight Grammy Awards, four Emmy’s, and a special Tony award. Streisand is also the best-selling female artist of all time – only The Beatles top her in terms of number of records sold. She also has 49 gold albums, with only Elvis having sold more.
Resulting from her fantastic success, Streisand has also earned a fair amount of money. She is said to have a net worth of around $400 million; however, she isn’t keeping it all to herself.
Over the years, she’s supported many causes through her foundation, from environmental projects to education and care for AIDS patients.
Barbra Streisand – marriages, husband, childreen
“I have enough money, thank God, and the only reason I want it is to give it away,” Streisand told The New York Times in 1983.
Barbra has been married twice. She met her first husband, actor Elliot Gould, when she was 19 and auditioning for a play. They married in 1963 and had one son together, Jason Gould. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 1971.
In 1998, Streisand tied the knot second husband, James Brolin. The two are still happily married, despite the fact that Barbra had pretty much given up on married life.
“I was at the checkout counter [at the supermarket] and read the headline of one of those tabloids that said an astrologer predicted I would marry again that year, but I hadn’t met anyone special. I thought it was crazy,” she told Oprah.
However, things took a quick turn. Streisand first laid eyes on Brolin while attending a dinner party. They ultimately sat next to each other, and she went on to touch his buzz-cut hair. It was the beginning of their love story.
“We started talking about architecture because I was building things and his father was a contractor,” Barbra recalled.
“Then I touched his head, which I’d normally never do, but because I was in director mode – I was working on The Mirror Has Two Faces – and dealing with male actors all day, I was much freer. So I said, ‘Who f**ked up your hair?’ He now says that’s when he fell in love with me – because I told him the truth.”
Barbra Streisand house – inside her mansion
She added: “He’s the yin to my yang. I wanted a companion in my life. My husband and I still have to work at our marriage every day. Relationships are about kindness. You have to constantly watch what you say and how you say it.”
Naturally, Barbra has more than enough money to pay her bills, and it should come as little surprise that her home is fabulous. Brolin and Streisand live in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Malibu, California, by the Pacific Ocean. They were said to have bought the house in the early 1990s, and over the years, they have put a lot of work and money into it.
According to the Hollywood legend herself, it serves an oasis for her to come home to.
Through her Instagram page, Barbra occasionally gives her fans some sneak peeks into her lovely Malibu estate. Her garden is a work of art, filled with flowers, ponds – and even a wishing well.
According to StarMap, the 10,485-square-foot home includes eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, multiple guest houses, and an incredible ocean view. The estate consists of the main house, a mill house, a barn – and another building called “Grandma’s.”
As mentioned already, Brolin and Streisand both have a significant interest in architecture and collecting art. However, the 80-year-old insists she has learned there are some things people shouldn’t hoard.
Strict color codes
“If you’re not going to use something, you have to let it pass on, go on its way, and live a life with somebody who will appreciate it,” she told Architectural Digest.
Not only does Streisand has put a strict limit on collectables, but she’s also careful with the colors she uses for her house’s exterior and interior.
Apparently, she couldn’t decide between gray and burgundy for the exterior, which led to two sides being gray, and two burgundy. As Architectural Digest reported in a piece about Streisand, the interior only consists of two color ranges: black to gray and burgundy to pale rose.
Moreover, every room in her mansion is decorated in different combinations of the two spectrums, though there are strict rules regarding how she manages it. For example, she’d never put pink flowers in the burgundy-and-gray living room. The outlet reported that even the wrappers in her candy dishes are color-coordinated.
“I don’t put a black vase in the gray-and-burgundy room,” Streisand said.
“He has his own rooms”
In 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that one of Barbra Streisand’s guest houses is “decorated in comfy New England style and filled with the figurines and family photos that grandmothers favor.”
While Streisand seems to be very strict about her home, there are some things she isn’t in charge of. As she told Harper’s Bazaar, Brolin decorates his own spaces.
“He has his own rooms that he’s in charge of: his office, his bath, his workshop,” she said.
Not only does Streisand have room for all her clothes and art collection. Moreover, she actually has a mall in her basement. The best way to show her memorabilia and hobbies was to create a mall on the lower level of her big house, Barbra explained.
“Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” the legendary singer told Harper’s Bazaar.
Barbra Streisand has had a wonderful career, and her house is so beautiful!