She was born Barbara Joan Streisand in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Beis Yakov School and Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. Following a music competition she became a club singer in her teens.
She signed to Columbia Records in 1962 and her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, won two Grammy Awards in 1963. From 1962 she also appeared on Broadway, first in the musical I Can Get It For You Wholesale and then as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (1964). She built on her success with a number of television specials for CBS. Her first film was a reprise of her Broadway hit, Funny Girl (1968), for which she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress. Her next two movies were also based on musicals, while her fourth film was based on a Broadway play.
Over the years, Streisand has won two Oscars, five Emmyss, and eight Golden Globes, as well as a number of other awards. Her other Academy Award was as composer for "Evergreen," from A Star Is Born (1976).
She was producer on a number of her own films, she set up Barwood Films in 1972. For Yentl (1983) she was producer, director, writer, and star; an experience she largely repeated for The Prince of Tides (1991).
She has appeared on over forty albums, after her early work in the 1960s (The Second Barbra Streisand Album, The Third Album, My Name Is Barbra etc.) mainly soundtrack albums.
Funny Girl (1968), Hello, Dolly (1969), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970), The Owl And The Pussycat (1970), What's Up, Doc (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Funny Lady (1974), A Star Is Born (1976), All Night Long (1981), Yentl (1983), Nuts (1987), The Prince of Tides (1991), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).