Barbra Streisand is one of the world’s most famous singers and actresses. With a career spanning six decades, she is one of the few performers who has won everything: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (the so-called EGOT). She considers herself very fortunate not only for her awards but also because she has found true love. Although she did it at an age regarded as older, her life story shows us that love may take time to arrive, but the wait is worth it.
At Impresionante, we’ve looked back at Barbra Streisand’s love life and the secrets she’s shared to be happy and in love into her 80s.
Her first marriage
Barbra Streisand was born in April 1942 and began her career in the 1960s, performing in nightclubs and theaters. Thanks to that, she appeared in some TV shows and, in 1963, she managed to release an album nominated for a Grammy for album of the year.
In one of his last Broadway performances, she met Elliot Gould when she auditioned for the play I Can Get It for You Wholesale. After the last audition, she was told, “Thank you.” She was very puzzled about being there and not knowing what would happen next, so she dictated her phone number to them and said, “So, will someone call me?” recalled Gould in an interview. “I wrote down her number and called her.”
She invited him to see her perform, but he insisted they would be in the play together. And so they were. The following year, they were married.
A breakup caused by success
Streisand and Gould broke up in 1969 and made their divorce official in 1971. The singer’s meteoric career brought her fame and ambition, which eventually took its toll on her marriage. Gould told a newspaper that “it was hard to be married to someone who had married her success” and added that the couple “went as far as we could go together.” Barbra’s only son, Jason Gould, was born from that marriage.
Two decades longing for love
From that year on, Barbra had several relationships with various showbiz members. In 1973, she started dating producer Jon Peters, her manager, and personal producer. Then, from 1983 to 1987, Streisand moved in with Richard Baskin, owner of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream company. He wrote the lyrics to her song “Here We Are at Last.”
Also, between 1983 and 1989, she dated actors Richard Gere and Clint Eastwood. From 1989 to 1991, she dated composer James Newton Howard. In the 90s, she was romantically involved with several actors and personalities, such as Liam Neeson, Jon Voight, and Peter Weller. And from 1992 to 1993, she dated Andre Agassi, despite their 28-year age difference. He said that dating her was “like wearing burning lava.”
“You dream a movie… and it appears.”
It wasn’t until Barbra turned 55 in 1996 that she met James Brolin, a year older than her. They met on a blind date arranged by friends. She came from decades of flings and didn’t expect anything to be different this time. But it was.
Just months after they met, Barbra directed The Mirror Has Two Faces, which she described as a manifestation of her budding relationship with Brolin. “You dream the movie, and then it appears”; in the film, a woman marries a man for platonic reasons before falling in love. “Getting together with Brolin was like life imitating art,” she said in an interview.
A new chance at 55
Barbra and James married two years later in 1998 at Streisand’s $100 million mansion in Malibu. Many people and the media were skeptical of the new couple, especially considering the singer’s romantic history. However, as the years went by, they proved that their relationship was meant to last.
They moved away from the public eye.
After getting married, Barbra and James decided to stay away from the media and the public eye. “We never dress up to go out anywhere, we don’t go to premieres. We never go anywhere where there are cameras….. We stay in bed all weekend. We read aloud to each other. We love to do a lot of nothing,” Barbra said in an interview.
“It’s a perfect situation”
During an interview in 2021, the 80-year-old actor opened up about his life with the singer: “I like women who say they’re at peace, I’m a calming factor, and she picks me up and does things I wouldn’t normally do. It’s like a perfect situation, the two of us. For a lot of people, their marriages haven’t been going well for these 15 months, we’ve literally fallen in love during this period of time, just being together every day and making it work.”
He added, “Neither of us has walked out the door [after] an argument, we’re good at talking things out. At 23 years, we’re better than we’ve ever been, I must say.”
24 years of dreams and counting
Now, 24 years into their marriage, they are an example for many other actors in the industry. They are one of the longest-lasting and happiest marriages. Barbra enjoys spending time with her family, and on her social media she has posted pictures of moments she shares with her granddaughter, daughter of Kathryn, Josh’s daughter from his first marriage.
The secret of a lasting marriage
Their relationship exemplifies what love and effort can accomplish in a couple. The secret of their successful marriage has different stages. First, one must learn from the past, James Brolin shared, “This is my […] third marriage. I chose difficult situations the first two times, but I think you learn with each one. I’m a person who believes that if I get it wrong, that’s when I learn, and when I get it right, I haven’t learned anything.”
Another secret is being together but maintaining independence: “We’ve bifurcated, and I love it that way. I have my own money, and she has her own money.” Another is to love each other but also love independence. “When she’s busy, she’s really focused, and part of our good relationship is that I get that,” Brolin said. “And if I come to her with something important, and she says, ’I don’t have time right now,’ she doesn’t have time, period. That’s how the mind works. You have to focus.”
More than 80 years full of work and love
Today, in 2022, Barbra is 80 years old, and James is 81, but they are still just as active in their work and life as a couple. She has announced on her official website that she will be doing a small tour throughout the United States and is still promoting the album she released a couple of years ago.
She is also very focused on supporting organizations, besides being a great art curator and interior designer. James worked in the movie Lightyear and the series Sweet Tooth. But most importantly, they have each other and continue to be one of the most loving marriages in show business and an excellent example for the new generations.
Have you ever met a couple who fell in love at an older age?
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