Barbra Streisand bestowed with SAG lifetime award

By Thomson Reuters Feb 24, 2024 | 8:54 PM

By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress, singer, movie director and producer Barbra Streisand was honored on Saturday with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Life Achievement Award in recognition of her prolific career and humanitarian work.

The 81-year-old Streisand received SAG’s highest award from Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper. She was the 59th recipient of the award, which goes to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” She was received with a standing ovation and many actors in tears.

Streisand recounted her dream of becoming an actress as a teenager in Brooklyn and being in awe of actor Marlon Brando in the 1955 film “Guys and Dolls.”

“That make-believe world was much more pleasant than anything I was experiencing,” Streisand told the crowd.

“I didn’t like reality. I wanted to be in the movies even though I knew I didn’t look like the other women on the screen. My mother said, ‘You better learn to type,’ but I didn’t listen.”

It was the first SAG award for Streisand, who has two Oscars, 10 Grammys, five Emmys and an honorary “Star of the Decade” Tony that put her in the elite EGOT club of stars who have won all those awards.

Streisand won her first Oscar in 1969 for her leading role as entertainer Fanny Brice in the 1968 comedy “Funny Girl.” She felt the biggest connection to that character because, as she told the Los Angeles Times, “She wanted so much out of life… just like me when I played that part.”

She was nominated again for an Oscar playing opposite Robert Redford in the 1973 romance story “The Way We Were.”

She went on to direct and star in the musical drama “Yentl” in 1983 and repeated the double feat in the romantic drama “The Prince of Tides” in 1991.

Her first Grammys came in 1964 for “The Barbra Streisand Album,” and in 1978 she won twice for “Love Theme From A Star is Born (Evergreen),” a movie in which she starred opposite Kris Kristofferson.

Streisand, who goes from Broadway standards to pop, jazz and classical music, is the only recording artist to achieve a No. 1 album on the Billboard charts in each of the last six decades.

Streisand’s philanthropic work through The Streisand Foundation includes advocating for the environment, women’s rights, civil liberties and nuclear disarmament. She has also established a Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and raised funds for medical care in Ukraine after a 2022 call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In late 2023, she published her 970-page memoir “My Name is Barbra,” a bestseller that took 10 years to complete.

Streisand completed her acceptance speech with an ode to her fellow actors and directors.

“I’ve loved working with you, playing with you and inhabiting that magical world of the movies,” she said. “And most of all, I want to thank you for giving me so much joy.”

(Writing by Mary Milliken; Editing by William Mallard)