Barbra Streisand at age 6 poses for her brother Sheldon.
In January 1959, Barbra Streisand graduated from Erasmus High School six months early, with a 93 average and a Spanish medal. Soon after-despite her mother's misgivings-she moved to Manhattan and began acting lessons.
Following her triumphant nine-month Broadway run in I Can Get it For You Wholesale, Barbra Streisand guest starred on numerous television shows, including P.M. EAST, THE GARRY MOORE SHOW and THE DINAH SHORE SHOW. The latter appearance caught the attention of President John F. Kennedy, who invited her to sing at the White House Correspondents dinner in May 1963.
Arriving in Hollywood in 1967, Barbra Streisand's Broadway and television success preceded her. Despite the fact that she had yet to appear in a film, she already had three movie contracts-for FUNNY GIRL, HELLO, DOLLY! and ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. Reprising the role of Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL (1968), Streisand worked with legendary director William Wyler and producer Ray Stark, the son-in-law of the real Fanny Brice. Herb Ross directed the musical sequences.
Echoing the first line in FUNNY GIRL, Barbra Streisand quipped, "Hello, gorgeous!" as she accepted the 1968 Academy Award© for Best Actress from Ingrid Bergman. With producer Ray Stark.
After seeing Peter Bogdanovich's THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971), Barbra Streisand had expressed interest in working with the director. Vincent Canby in The New York Times praised her WHAT'S UP, DOC? performance: "Although she never lets us forget the power that always seems to be held in uncertain check, she is surprisingly appealing, more truly comic than ever."
"I can't explain it," says Robert Redford. "Her femininity brings out the masculinity in a man, and her masculinity brings out a man's femininity, vulnerability, romanticism, whatever you want to call it." Barbra Streisand's multi-layered portrayal of Katie Morosky in THE WAY WE WERE earned her a Best Actress Academy Award© nomination. Streisand with Sydney Pollack and Redford on location in Malibu.
A STAR IS BORN became Barbra Streisand's biggest box-office success to date, and she won the Best Music, Song Oscar for Evergreen, marking the first win for a female composer. Paul Williams shared the Oscar for writing the song's lyrics. Presenter Neil Diamond was a former classmate of Streisand's at Erasmus High.
The Medal of Arts Awards Ceremony
December 20, 2000
Presented to Barbra Streisand by President Bill Clinton