Barbra Streisand turns 80: The iconic star’s fashion and beauty evolution

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Barbra Streisand Turns 80: The Iconic Star’s Fashion And Beauty Evolution Barbra Streisand Turns 80: The Iconic Star’s Fashion And Beauty Evolution
The multi-talented American began her showbiz career in the 1960s
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By Katie Wright, PA Fashion and Beauty Editor

When it comes to entertainment icons, it doesn’t get much bigger than Barbra Streisand.

From Broadway to the big screen, the much-loved star is one of the biggest-selling recording artists of all time, and one of the few people to have achieved EGOT status (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).

In a career spanning seven decades, the living legend has amassed a legion of adoring fans all over the world, and she’s brought us some incredible fashion and beauty moments along the way.

To mark Streisand’s 80th birthday on April 24th, we look back at how her style has evolved, both on and off the screen…

1960s: Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand pictured in London in 1966. Photo: PA

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, in 1942, Streisand began her showbiz career on the Big Apple nightclub scene in the early 1960s before landing her first few Broadway roles and scoring a record deal in 1962. Her first Tony and Grammy nominations soon followed.

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Starring in Funny Girl. Photo: Alamy/PA

Streisand’s first big break came in 1968, when she won the best actress Oscar for the big screen adaptation of musical comedy Funny Girl, a role in which she’d starred on Broadway. She shared the award with Katharine Hepburn – the only time there’s ever been a tie in the category.

During this era, the fledgling star sported many of the decade’s most well-known fashion and beauty trends, from bouffant hair and cut-crease eyeliner to mini skirts and go-go boots.

1970s: A Star Is Born

Starring in The Way We Were. Photo: Alamy/PA

Continuing her meteoric rise in Hollywood, in the 1970s Streisand starred in two more classic movies: The Way We Were (with Robert Redford) and A Star Is Born (opposite Kris Kristofferson). Also singing on the films’ soundtracks, she scooped her second Oscar (best original song) for the latter.

Moving away from the sleek bouffant hairdos of the 1960s, Streisand started showing off her naturally curly hair in movie roles and while performing on stage.

1980s: Woman In Love

In London for the royal charity premiere of Yentl. Photo: PA

Focusing on music, Streisand scored a string of hit albums in the 1980s, including the mega-selling Guilty, which featured chart-topping hit Woman In Love.

After setting up her own production company, she stepped behind the camera for the first time to write, produce, direct and star in musical drama film Yentl (1983), about a Jewish girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to attend orthodox school.

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On set during the filming of Yentl, 1983. Photo: Alamy/PA

On the red carpet, Streisand adopted the glam 1980s look with sequinned dresses, big-shouldered suits and voluminous curly hair.

At the 1984 Golden Globes. Photo: Alamy/PA

1990s: Back To Broadway

Backstage at Wembley Arena. Photo: Martin Keene/PA

Continuing to focus on directing, Streisand landed her first directorial nominations in the Nineties and was rewarded for her long-running music success with a Grammy Legend Award in 1992, before releasing her 26th studio album, Back To Broadway, the following year. In 1998 she married actor James Brolin.

Adopting a more pared-back style in her Fifties, the star unveiled sleek, shoulder-length blonde locks with a side-swept fringe, complementing her look with minimal make-up. Rocking power suits and glam gowns on the red carpet, she often accessorised with impressive jewellery.

2000s: Timeless

Performing at the O2 Arena in 2007. Photo: Alamy/PA

Returning to acting in 2004 after an eight-year hiatus, Streisand appeared in hit comedy Meet The Fockers alongside Dustin Hoffman. She also embarked on two highly lucrative world tours in the 2000s and released live album Timeless: Live in Concert.

On stage, the veteran star favoured sweeping gowns – nearly always black – with glossy, blow-dried honey-blonde locks and perfectly manicured nails.

Now: Encore

A long-time supporter of the US Democrat Party, in recent years Streisand has become a more vocal activist, appearing at the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles, and releasing an anti-Donald Trump album, called Walls, the following year. She continued to tour until not long before the pandemic began.

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Performing A Happening At Hyde Park in London, July 2019. Photo: Alamy/PA

While the singer is often still pictured in all-black outfits, when she performed in London in 2019 her on-stage ensemble was markedly different to her usual monochrome style. Donning a colourful poncho and wearing her hair loose and tousled, her hippy-chic look harked back to the early days of her career.

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