Little-known facts about superstar Barbra Streisand

Taryn Davies
Published: March 2, 2018

Barbra Streisand has been working in show business for more than six decades and in that time she’s sung, acted, directed and raised money for numerous charities.

She’s led a fascinating life that saw her mother struggle financially when Streisand’s father died suddenly when she was just one year old; she moved out when she was just 16 and carried an army cot with her do she’d always have somewhere to sleep, whether at a friend’s house or on the street. She started singing with the main objective of moving into acting and has earned a fortune that worth roughly $390 million.

Get to know the A-lister that little bit better as we share some little-known facts about Barbra Streisand.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand
Featureflash Photo Agency

She changed her name

When she was born she was given the name Barbara, but actually changed it when she was 18, to Barbra. It’s not exactly a huge change, but she reveals that she wanted to be unique, but she felt that changing her name completely would be too false.

Learning her craft

People in her neighbourhood knew her as the girl with the good voice, and even though she revelled in the attention, her main objective was always to become an actress.

To help her with that she would spend hours and hours in the library reading and studying the biographies of a number of different stage actresses like Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse.

She also studied the acting theories of Stanislavski and Chekhov.

She cloned her dog

Barbra recently revealed to Variety that she had her beloved dog Samantha cloned twice after it died. There were cells taken from the stomach and mouth from the Coton de Tulear, which were made to create Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. They got their names from the coloured clothes Streisand dressed them in to tell them apart.

The technology is certainly groundbreaking, and anyone can have it, it just happens to cost in between £36,000 and £72,000 to have it done.

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin Featureflash Photo Agency Shutterstock Com

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin
Featureflash Photo Agency/

Her early career

When she was younger she was part of the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, where she sang with Neil Diamond.

It was in 1957 that she got her first stage experience; she had appeared at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge in New York.

She made her Broadway debut in 1962 and earned a Tony Award nomination for the performance in I Can Get It For You Wholesale.

Then in 1968, she appeared in her first film, a reprisal of her Broadway hit Funnygirl. For this film, she won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Actress.

A cabinet full of silverware

Barbra is one of the few artists to ever win awards from the following ceremonies: Academy Award, Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, Peabody and A.F.I. Lifetime Achievement.

She’s amazingly been nominated 42 times in the Grammys and won eight. She’s racked up nine Primetime Emmy Awards and won four and nominated for five Academy Awards and won two.

An outstanding music career

Although she was incredibly focused on acting as she grew up, she still forged a music career that has been extremely successful over the years. In fact, she’s one of the best-selling artists of all time. She’s sold more than 145 million records worldwide, which makes her the best-selling female artist listed in the top-selling artists that are recognised by the Recording Industry Association of America.

What’s even more impressive that she is the only artist to have a number one album in every one of the last six decades.

Barbra Streisand And Robert Redford

Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford Featureflash Photo Agency/

Behind the camera

Streisand is well-known for her acting abilities on stage and in films, as well as her huge music career, she has also directed three films, and a number of TV documentaries. Her first film was Yentl and it saw her win the Best Director award from the Golden Globes, as well as winning an Oscar and numerous other nominations too. The Prince of Tides was nominated for seven Oscars, and her most recent film The Mirror Has Two Faces was nominated twice by the Academy.

Most recently, she was in the running for directing the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures. Streisand has revealed that the 2016 drama about NASA women mathematicians of the 1960s was such a great film to her. She revealed she was sent the script and she’d agreed to do it, but then it was given to the man who wrote the script, Ted Melfi. She admits he done a good job, but she wishes she’s have directed it.

The Streisand Foundation

Created in 1986, the Streisand Foundation has contributed over $16 million through grants. These grants have worked in a number of ways, including women’s issues, preservation of the environment, voter education, nuclear disarmament and the protection of civil liberties and civil rights.