Hello, Gorgeous: Half a Century of Barbra


In a career that started when Kennedy was president, Barbra Streisand has managed to create 3 larger-than-life personas.

First, she was the Serious Singer, the one who could hold her own in a duet with the legendary Judy Garland and later sold 145 million records. Next, she was the Screwball Comedienne and Leading Lady, the one who could trade yucks with Ryan O’Neal and Seth Rogen, or smooches with Robert Redford.

But her most notable role is World’s Most Famous Jewish Woman. (Sorry, Golda!) Think “New York Jew” and it’s Barbra Streisand you see. The nose. The attitude. The accent.

Streisand’s recording career began exactly 50 years ago, in 1963, with 2 self-titled Top 10 albums. A year later, she starred in the Broadway musical Funny Girl, a role she reprised on film in 1968. She hit the Daily Double in 1973 with the movie and song The Way We Were.

This month, Barbra plays Israel for the first time, and will receive an honorary doctorate from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for her dedication to human rights, Israel, and the Jewish people. Not bad  for a poor girl from Brooklyn who sang in her high school chorus but never even landed a solo.

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