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April 24, 2024

My Name is Barbra: 12 Childhood Photos of Barbra Streisand From the 1940s

Barbra Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York City. Her mother had been a soprano in her youth and considered a career in music, but later became a school secretary. Her father was a high school teacher at the same school, where they first met.

According to Streisand, childhood was an unhappy, even traumatic, period of her life. Her father Emanuel died unexpectedly when she was only 15 months old. She describes her mother Diana as self-absorbed and emotionally distant. For example, instead of empathizing with Streisand’s dream to be an actress and supporting her, Diana often said that Streisand wasn’t pretty enough to be a star and should give up.

Diana couldn’t support the family on her own, so they moved in with her parents. As a result, Barbra lived in a one-bedroom apartment with four other people: her mother, her brother Sheldon, and her maternal grandparents Louis and Esther Rosen.

When Streisand was eight years old, her mother began dating—and eventually married—a man named Louis Kind, allowing them to finally move out of the small apartment. However, Kind mistreated Diana and was emotionally abusive toward the children; Streisand says he seemed to resent her and Sheldon simply for existing.

Streisand says that, because of her difficult childhood, she has always loved escapism. As a child and a teenager, she attended movies and Broadway shows whenever she could; she found fiction more engaging than real life. This undoubtedly contributed to her love of acting and performing. Here, below is a collection of 12 adorable childhood photos of Barbra Streisand from the 1940s:


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