Barbra Streisand First Woman To Produce, Direct, Write And Star In A Major Motion Picture

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Barbra Streisand First Woman To Produce, Direct, Write And Star In A Major Motion Picture, The career of Barbra Streisand has been paved with bold, creative achievements and highlighted by a series of firsts.

“The Prince of Tides” was the first motion picture directed by its female star ever to receive a Best Director nomination from the Directors Guild of America as well as seven Academy Award nominations. Barbra Streisand produced the heralded drama in addition to directing and starring in it.

For her very first Broadway appearance in “I Can Get It For You Wholesale,” she won the New York Drama Critics Award and received a Tony nomination.

For her very first record album, “The Barbra Streisand Album,” she won two 1963 Grammy Awards. One of these was Album of the Year; and she was then the youngest artist to have received that award.

For her motion picture debut in “Funny Girl,” she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress, the first of two Oscars. With “Yentl” in 1983, she became the first woman ever to produce, direct, write and star in a major motion picture.

She was honored with an Emmy Award and the distinguished Peabody Award for her first television special, “My Name Is Barbra,” in 1965. The program earned a total of five Emmys. This achievement was repeated 30 years later by “Barbra Streisand: The Concert” with two additional Emmy awards for Ms. Streisand among the five for the production.

She is the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award, this for her song, “Evergreen,” the love theme from her 1976 hit film, “A Star Is Born.” She was nominated again in 1997 as co-composer of “I Finally Found Someone,” based on her love theme for her most recent film as director/producer/star, “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

The “actress who sings,” as Streisand once termed herself, has repeatedly been at the top of the record sales charts. Her recent Columbia Records albums, “A Love Like Ours” (1999) and the double album, “Timeless – Live In Concert” (2000), were both quickly certified as gold and then platinum. Her prior “Higher Ground” (1997) and earlier “Back To Broadway” (1993) albums are among only a handful of recordings ever to become Number One on the sales charts in their initial week of release and to go platinum through their first shipping orders. The previous “The Broadway Album” (1985) similarly enjoyed great praise and sales, became #1 and brought her three Grammy nominations and her eighth Grammy for Best Pop Female Vocalist. The double-album “Barbra Streisand: The Concert” (1994) was another recent effort in her parade of hits. “Higher Ground” occasioned two additional Grammy nominations. At home in pop, show tunes, rock and ballads, she even made a classical album titled “Classical Barbra” (1976) which was nominated for a Grammy Award in the classical division. Of all her releases, 1980′s “Guilty,” Barbra’s collaboration with Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees, achieved the greatest success worldwide, selling over 20 million units and spawning several smash hit singles.

The statistics of her achievements as a recording sales leader are clearly drawn in platinum and gold. She had achieved sales unequaled by any other female recording artist. With forty-seven gold albums, she is second in the all-time charts, ahead of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, exceeded only by Elvis. Thus, she is the only artist among the top four all-time gold record sellers who was not part of the rock & roll revolution which has dominated the record business for four decades. Her twenty-eight platinum albums, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, exceeds all other female singers. That organization also noted that she is the only female artist ever to have achieved thirteen multi-platinum albums (including the soundtrack for her motion picture “A Star Is Born”), earning her eight Grammy Awards and Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement and Legend Awards in the process.

She continues to be the highest-selling female recording artist ever and has had number one albums in each of the last four decades. Her number one albums span a period of nearly 35 years, the greatest longevity in that statistic for any solo recording artist. A recent poll by the Reuters news agency identified her as the favorite female singer of the 20th Century and Frank Sinatra as the favorite male singer.

Streisand’s 57th album, “Christmas Memories,” was released in October 2001. It’s her first full-length studio album since 1999′s “A Love Like Ours” and her first new recording since her 1999-2000 New Year’s Eve millennium performances captured on “Timeless – Live In Concert.” “Christmas Memories” is Streisand’s first seasonal collection since “A Christmas Album,” which has been certified quintuple- platinum by the RIAA and has re-entered the charts each year since its 1967 release. An album of inspirational music for all seasons, “Christmas Memories” is “lovingly dedicated” to Stephan Weiss, the husband of designer Donna Karan and a close friend of Streisand’s, who passed away in June 2001. The album was certified gold and platinum in December 2001.

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