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The 4 Roles That Defined Barbra Streisand's Career

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:36 PM

Unlike many actors and actresses who have to take small roles before heading the cast list in a major motion picture, Barbra Streisand received top billing in her first movie, "Funny Girl," and never looked back.

One of Hollywood's true multiple threats, Streisand has been successful as an actress, singer, director, producer, and screenwriter.

Although she only has 19 major film roles to her credit, there are a few that truly stand out:

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1. Fanny Brice, "Funny Girl" (1968) and "Funny Lady" (1975)

Streisand is one of the few actors or actresses who transferred a successful Broadway character to one that was also popular on the big screen. Streisand, however, made the transition easily from portraying Fanny Brice on Broadway to playing her in the movie "Funny Girl."

According to Turner Classic Movies, the film starred Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, and Anne Francis, and is the story of a star of the Ziegfeld Follies who leaves the show after being seduced by a shady older man. Streisand won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance, along with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Streisand then revisited the role seven years later in "Funny Lady." The film picks up where "Funny Girl" left off and follows Brice's career and marriage to songwriter Billy Rose. "Funny Lady" reunite Streisand with Sharif and also stars James Caan, Roddy McDowall, and Ben Vereen. Streisand was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe, but did not win.

2. Dolly Levi, "Hello, Dolly!" (1969)

Fresh off her performance in "Funny Girl," Streisand delivered another top-notch performance in "Hello, Dolly!" Another musical romantic comedy, Streisand plays Dolly Levi, a matchmaker who sets her sights on a wealthy older man to marry herself, according to All Movie. The film stars Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, and Louis Armstrong. Streisand was once again nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe Award.

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3. Katie Morosky, "The Way We Were" (1973)


Streisand's first few roles were musicals and romantic comedies; however, her turn as Katie Morosky in "The Way We Were" was her first in a dramatic role. Streisand stars with Robert Redford in a tale of star-crossed lovers who marry, then discover that they are incompatible with each other, despite a mutual fondness and love for their daughter. Streisand earned her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress as well as another Best Actress Golden Globe Award, winning neither.

4. Esther Hoffman Howard, "A Star is Born" (1976)

In "A Star is Born," Streisand calls upon all of her talents again to portray Esther Hoffman Howard. It is the story of a destructive love affair between a pair of singer/songwriters, one on her way up, and one on his way down. Kris Kristofferson portrays her love interest, John Norman Howard, and the film also features Gary Busey and Paul Mazursky. Streisand was nominated again for a Best Actress Golden Globe Award, but did not win. However, she did share writing credits with Paul Williams for the movie's theme song, "Evergreen," which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

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Unlike many actors and actresses who have to take small roles before heading the cast list in a major motion picture, Barbra Streisand received top billing in her first movie, "Funny Girl" and never looked back.
barbara streisand, roles, career
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2015-36-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:36 PM
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