Hi, I didn't know Barbara Streisand was a director until reading your blog just now. How many everyday female celebrities in other fields (like Madonna I do know, but I might have missed some) also directed movies? Full length ones preferably?
That’s an interesting question. Actually I find that women directors who attained success in another field and then moved on to directing is way more common then women that came out of film school (though that is slowly changing).
Obviously the most common celebrities who make the transition into directing are actresses. Some of the most high-profile actress turned directors I can think of are Angelina Jolie, Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Polley, Julie Delpy, Elizabeth Banks, Ida Lupino, Penny Marshall and Drew Barrymore. Though of course there are many actresses who weren’t that famous but became directors later like Maïwenn, Amma Asante, Kasi Lemmons, Marielle Heller etc. I don’t know whether to call Sofia Coppola a well-known or an unknown actress, but she worked as an actress in her father’s movies and was basically a socialite before she turned to directing.
I’m not sure if these women qualify as celebrities to you as they’re not on the level of Streisand and Madonna but they were all very famous in these fields before they turned to directing:
Marguerite Duras (novelist)
Marjane Satrapi (graphic novelist)
Nora Ephron (journalist/Oscar nominated screenwriter/producer)
Nancy Meyers (Oscar nominated screenwriter/producer)
Diablo Cody (Oscar winning screenwriter)
Sam Taylor-Johnson (photographer)
Elaine May (Comedian)
Joan Rivers (Comedian)
Beyoncé Knowles (Singer)* no feature film but she co-directed Lemonade
Tara Subkoff (Imitation of Christ clothing designer)
Laura & Kate Mulleavy (Rodarte clothing designers)
Hope this helps!