streisand history

“To watch Funny Girl now is to witness a born performer not only basking in her spotlight but confidently using it to hone her craft and flex her abilities. There is no tentativeness, no betrayal of her admitted inexperience. Streisand may have been new to this more understated medium, but the camera never diminishes Streisand so much as it actually magnetizes her larger-than-life presence." — Matthew Eng

Funny Girl opened 49 years ago today. Here’s how the sensational Barbra Streisand innovated a new type of film star.

The Golden Apple Award was an award presented to entertainers by the Hollywood Women’s Press Club, usually in recognition not of performance but of behavior. In 1968, Fred Astaire and Barbra Streisand were the well-behaved winners. The awards ceremony included Golden Apples to recognize actors for being easy to work with, as well as the Sour Apple Award that chastised actors for being rude or difficult.

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is a popular ballad by  Michael Jackson. It was originally intended to be a duet between MJ and his woman of choice: either Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston. Even Aretha Franklin and Agnetha Fältskog (formerly of ABBA) were offered the song, but all four had other obligations. J.Randy Taraborelli : Michael had wanted Barbra Streisand to record the song with him, but she turned him down. ‘I can’t believe she would turn me down,’ he said. ‘Doesn’t she know that this is going to be the biggest album in history?”

Barbra Streisand, on the set of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in April 1969, photographed by Lawrence Schiller.

Widely recognized as an icon in multiple entertainment fields, Streisand has attained unprecedented achievements as a recording artist, actor, director, producer, concert performer, author and songwriter. Streisand has been awarded two Oscars, five Emmys, ten Golden Globes, eight Grammys plus two special Grammys, a special Tony Award in 1970, and two CableACE Awards — the only artist to receive honors in all of those fields of endeavor. She will discuss her unparalleled career and force field of creativity at Tribeca with filmmaker and longtime pen pal (!) Robert Rodriguez. Join them.



“People would say, ‘How do you hold the notes so long?’ And I said, 'Because I want to.’”

We’re still in awe of Barbra Streisand’s queendom. This past month, the singular entertainment legend visited Tribeca 2017 to chat with friend Robert Rodriguez as part of the Tribeca Talks: Storytellers series.

(Photos by Russell James)