Barbra Streisand is an absolute legend in the entertainment industry. One of the few entertainers to have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award (EGOT), Streisand can really do it all.
After getting her start by performing in nightclubs and on Broadway in the 1960s, she soon transitioned to film and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her iconic portrayal of Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” in 1968. She continued to have success both musically and in Hollywood, even winning a second Oscar for her work composing music for the 1976 version of “A Star is Born” Now, at 80, Streisand is still a force to be reckoned with.
But one aspect of her life that isn’t in the public eye as much as her career is her love life. She was married to actor Elliott Gould for much of the 1960s, and together the couple has a son, actor Jason Gould. Streisand and Jason even appeared as mother and son together in “The Prince of Tides.”
The mother-and-son duo is known to be very close. Jason spent most of his childhood with Streisand and has shared his respect for the woman who raised him. Jason has come out to his family and the world as gay, and his mother has shown nothing but love and praise for her son. The award-winning singer and actress has spoken out on how Jason is nothing short of her biggest life blessing. The famous mother and son pair is close to this day and can even be found on stage together from time to time.
Barbra Streisand (1968), (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Barbara Joan Streisand – professionally known as Barbra Streisand – was born on Apr. 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. When she was 13 years old, Streisand made a four-song demo tape with the help of her critical yet increasingly supportive mother. Despite her amazing talents as a singer, Streisand had dreams of becoming an actress. She saw her first Broadway play, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” when she was just 14 years old, and from that point on, she was completely hooked on the idea of acting. Streisand immersed herself in the art, studying everything from stage actresses to plays to acting theories.
However, in 2003, Streisand told NPR that she never really took singing lessons or properly learned how to read music. She explained, “I never approach singing as singing… I once tried to take a singing lesson many years ago.” Streisand explained how the teacher tried to explain how to enunciate her vowels differently to carry the sound better, but Streisand insisted that she had “to sing like I would speak,” so she stopped taking lessons.
Streisand’s intelligence and her desire to finally venture into show business full-time helped her graduate high school early at the age of 16. Afterward, she immediately set out and began auditioning for roles on various New York City stages.
During the 1960s, Streisand finally began to land roles. She auditioned for a musical comedy called “I Can Get It for You Wholesale.” Streisand landed the part of secretary to the lead, who was played by Elliott. He was not well known at the time, and he and Streisand fell in love behind the scenes. They married in September 1963 and had one child together before divorcing in 1971.
Barbra Streisand (circa 1975), (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)The performer was beginning to truly make a name for herself as she went from a hopeful star to a real celebrity. She began appearing on stage and television and even professionally released music. Her performances on stage earned her a great reputation, and Streisand used her name to her advantage, naming her first two albums “The Barbra Streisand Album” and “The Second Barbra Streisand Album.”
Streisand wowed audiences with her acclaimed performance as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl,” in which she sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” The play was an overnight success, and Streisand went on to receive plenty of fame and recognition immediately and was even nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. She reprised the role a few years later in her first film titled “Funny Girl,” which was based on the Broadway hit. This earned Streisand the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1968.
While it’s clear everyone took Streisand’s talent and career seriously, the rising star continued to show off more aspects of her personality and starred in several screwball comedies, including “The Main Event” and “For Pete’s Sake.” In 1976, she starred in “A Star is Born,” and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “Evergreen,” along with lyricist Paul Williams.
According to her biography, Streisand is the first woman to direct, produce, write and star in a major motion picture. She is also the first female composer to win an Academy Award and the only recording artist to achieve No. 1 albums in six consecutive decades.
Don Johnson, Barbra Streisand (1988), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)She also has proven to have even more tricks up her sleeve and used her abilities as an actress to move behind the scenes, rightfully sitting in the director’s chair. Streisand spoke with CBS News about her decision to work as a director on top of still working as a singer and actress. She said:
“…When you’re just an actress people think you’re stepping out of line if you suggest something to do with the whole film. When you’re a director you’re expected to know the answers. You’re expected to tell people what to do.”
While she has led a very busy life, Streisand has also made time for her loved ones. In her personal life, Streisand has been married twice. Her first marriage was to Elliott. Afterward, she dated Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In 1973, she began dating hairdresser and producer Jon Peters, who went on to become Streisand’s own manager and producer. However, the pair split during the making of the 1983 film “Yentl.” While the film was revolutionary in Streisand’s career, earning her more awards, it wasn’t as beneficial for her relationship with Peters. Fortunately, the two have remained friends.
Streisand went on to date actor Don Johnson for about one year, and they even recorded a duet together called “Till I Loved You.” During the 1980s, Streisand also had brief relationships with Richard Gere and Clint Eastwood. It was clear that Streisand was putting her all into her relationships as she continued searching for the right one, but nothing worked out until she met the man she now calls her husband.
James Brolin, Barbra Streisand (2004), (Dan MacMedan/WireImage/Getty Images)While Streisand has gotten used to being a pivotal figure in the spotlight for many years now, she has also opened up about her long-lasting marriage to actor and director James Brolin.
With how strong Streisand and Brolin’s relationship is today, people may think that they’ve known each other their entire lives. However, the pair actually met on a blind date, according to PEOPLE. It wasn’t exactly as romantic as the movies. In fact, their first encounter was Streisand making fun of Brolin’s hair.
“We were set up as a blind date, and I was so shy that I came into the house and I went downstairs to be with the children and play with them until I had to sit down at the table,” Streisand explained.
Fortunately, the chemistry between them was undeniable. Streisand said that Brolin told her “he knew (right away)” that she was the one for him, although it took her “a few days” for the feelings to reciprocate.
When Brolin and Streisand first started dating, he recalls that his friends initially discouraged him from marrying the singer. “I heard it over, that she’s a tough one,” he said on “The Talk.” Fortunately, he did not heed their warnings. The two tied the knot on July 1, 1998, after dating for two years.
According to PEOPLE, Streisand sang two songs at the celebration, and Brolin gave a famous speech saying, “I can’t tell you how lucky I am that this would happen to me so late in life. Every night is a new adventure. Sleeping is a waste of time. I can’t wait to see her again in the morning.”
Barbra Streisand (2013). (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)There are many factors that play into their long, successful marriage. Neither celebrity has sacrificed their career or independence for the other. Brolin told HuffPost Live that he and Streisand both have their own money and try to maintain that independence, so things do not get complicated.
Streisand credits their successful relationship to “kindness,” as she told Extra. She believes this simple advice can help couples keep their own relationships flourishing. She said:
“The Dalai Lama says, ‘Give truth with compassion…’ I used to use truth as a weapon years ago, actually, ‘Well, you look fat ’cause you’re fat… I’m telling you the truth.’ Truth with compassion would say it a different way — I don’t think you can take each other for granted.”
On top of opening up about her current love life, Streisand has also shared heartfelt details about her relationship with her son. On top of that, her ex, Elliott, has also talked about his relationship with Jason.
Elliott has had only kind words to say about Streisand and their shared son, as well as balancing a blended family dynamic. “People will presume how things should be, but things are the way they are,” he explained. “To me, it’s all about us. It’s not about any one part.”
Elliott has only proven to still be part of the family and has stayed close to Barbra. He shared:
“I’ve said to her: I know you’re married to someone else now, and I only wish you well, but this is a small family unit, and you’re a part of it, so I’ll always be there.”
He added, “Barbra is a very significant part of my life, no less significant than the rest of my family. Jason is the light of our lives.”
Barbra Streisand, Jason (1969), (Victor Crawshaw/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)In an exclusive interview with The Advocate, Streisand explained that she will always be proud of her son.
“I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring and a very conscientious and good person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask for in their child? I have been truly blessed,” she shared.
Having Jason in 1966, he grew up in the limelight alongside his very famous and iconic mother. It should be no surprise that he would also have a talent for singing. In an interview with Billboard in 2017, Jason shared that he had been musical since he was a kid.
“I was a kid who came up with melodies. I would sit at the piano and work out chord progressions I liked, but I never had the confidence to complete a song,” he shared.
Now that Jason is 56 years old, he owns who he is. He has admitted that he is different from his mother.
“The pressure of being compared, or judged is something I recognize I have no control over. And ultimately, I have to be authentic, so no matter who my mother is, it doesn’t really matter in the end. We are all products of our parents, though,” he revealed.
Jason released an album named “Dangerous Man,” in 2017 and “Dark Grey Skies,” in 2021. Aside from having an internationally known mom, Jason has created a name for himself in the music industry. Streisand and Jason have joined one another on stage, creating special moments for fans all over the world.
Jason Gould, Barbra Streisand (2017), (Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images)Jason told USA Today after joining his mom on stage for a performance:
“I did not know if my knees would buckle. I did not know if I could do it. I didn’t want to set this up. I learned I could do it. It’s been weeks afterward, and I cannot believe I sang in front of thousands of people at the Hollywood Bowl. I don’t know who that person is.”
He admitted that after an experience such as that, nothing is impossible. “As I got more comfortable, I found I could respond to anything,” Jason shared.
A proud Streisand praised her son afterward and said, “And I tell you, when I heard the things he’s recorded, the musicianship, the sound of his voice, it’s like he has a little chamber music orchestra right in his vocal cords.”
Elliott is also a proud parent and shared, “He’s got my eyes. And he’s brilliant. He sings. He’s artistic. In some ways, he and Barbra look alike.”
Even before Jason was born, he was already making headlines. When Streisand discovered she was pregnant in 1966, she was in the middle of prepping for a 20-city tour that was projected to make over $1 million, according to Nicki Swift. However, Streisand canceled her shows and made her upcoming motherhood a priority. Afterward, media outlets referred to Jason as the “million-dollar baby.”
Streisand was happy with her decision, though, and called her son “a tangible success.”
Jason and Streisand share an unbreakable mother-and-son bond. The two haven’t gone without their disagreements, but at the end of the day, they support one another immensely.
“But there’s a lot of soul and heart. She’s a sensitive person and a generous soul. There’s a lot of love in there,”
What do you think about Barbra Streisand’s son and his accomplishments? Are you a huge fan of this mother-and-son duo? If you are a fan of this family, be sure to send this along to others who will love it too!