When the patrons at a Greenwich Village nightclub hosting a talent contest gave the first-place trophy to an 18-year-old named Barbra Streisand, little did they know that the statue would one day share a shelf with an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy!
Born in 1942 in Brooklyn, Barbra Streisand entered the New York nightclub circuit and appeared in an off-Broadway show after winning the aforementioned contest. Though the musical in which she made her Broadway debut, I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), didn't fare so well, Streisand did. Her performance won a New York Critics Award--as well as a husband; she and costar Elliott Gould were married from 1963-1971.
Cabaret and TV appearances brought Streisand more recognition, leading to her breakthrough role in 1964's Funny Girl. When she reprised that Broadway role on the big screen in 1968, she was awarded the Best Actress Oscar. After signing a recording contract and starring in several TV specials, Streisand was given a special 1970 Emmy—as Broadway's Actress of the Decade.
The movie screen brought her more rewards in the '70s; in addition to starring in The Owl and the Pussycat and What's Up Doc?, she scored a #1 single with the title song to The Way We Were and an Oscar for Best Song (Evergreen) in A Star Is Born. She added "director" to her movie resume in 1983 with Yentl (winning a Golden Globe) and in 1996 with The Mirror Has Two Faces.
Babs, as she is affectionately known, then took nearly a decade off from acting. She made a strong return to the screen with the 2004 hit comedy Meet the Fockers. She returned to reprise her role in 2010’s Little Fockers. She continued the trend toward comedy by playing the overbearing mother of an inventor played by the infamously foul-mouthed comedian Seth Rogen in 2012’s The Guilt Trip.
As a singer, Barbra Streisand has continued to win Grammys and put on fabulously successful concert tours. As an actress, we can only hope to see more of her soon; in the meantime, enjoy Critics' Choice Video's excellent collection of her greatest films!