Barbra Streisand
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Judaism
  • Career: Actress
  • Birthday:  April 24, 1942

Barbara Streisand is an American singer, filmmaker, and actress. Her legendary film career has thrived for over 60 years. The 79-year-old actress’ successes in music and movies have earned her a plethora of awards. Streisand’s award portfolio is of the rare occurrences of a performer possessing an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony together.

The movie star’s family has Jewish origins. A majority of her film roles were Jewish characters. Her Jewish faith and ancestral roots kept the integrity of the portrayal of the characters in the films. It was essential to accurately represent that particular background in film since it was not common at the time.

“I was raised in a religious home. The Sabbath was always honored; candles were lit. My grandfather went to synagogue every Saturday, and he would take me along when I was about five. I would sit next to him, with the other men, while the women sat somewhere else. I could follow the Hebrew because I went to the Yeshiva of Brooklyn, where half the day was spent on English studies and the other half on Hebrew culture. They taught us how to read the words, but I didn’t know what they meant. Still, I felt like a big girl, sitting beside the men. Maybe that’s why it was so easy to imagine myself as "Yentl",” the famous actress spoke about how her Jewish faith shaped her upbringing and film roles.

The Brooklyn native is most known for her famous breakout role in the musical film “Funny Girl”. The movie went on to become a wildly successful Broadway production. Streisand explained how she was honored to play a role that represented the Jewish faith. “Well, being Jewish is a part of my identity, and of course, I’d want to honor that heritage when it’s relevant to the story. Fanny Brice was clearly Jewish.”

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