For my generation, there aren’t many living legends left. Barbra Streisand is one of the few remaining that has made an indelible impression upon me as far back as I can remember. An actress, director, singer/entertainer, advocate for human rights, animal-lover and a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s, there’s much to admire about Babs.* As a little girl in the late 60s and early 70s, watching her in the movies Funny Girl, The Way We Were and What’s Up Doc, I recall being mesmerized by everything from her long slender fingers with manicured nails to her almond-shaped blue eyes. When they welled up with tears as Fanny Brice and K-K-K-Katie, so did mine. And when she looked at herself in the mirror in Funny Girl and uttered the iconic line “Hello Gorgeous….” I enthusiastically agreed. You see, Barbra is beautiful and it’s not in spite of her nose, it’s because of it.
Barbra Streisand in Profile
With a neck like a Modigliani and a nose like a Roman Emperor, Barbra Streisand is as captivating to look at as she is talented. One of the most successful personalities in show business, she is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards, as well as the American Film Institutes Lifetime Achievement honor and the Film Society of Lincoln Center Chaplin Award. With 145 million albums sold worldwide, she’s also part of an elite group who have ever accomplished an “EGOT” – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. She’s a true Superstar. As such, she’s been photographed countless times and by many of the most respected in the business. She’s graced all sorts of magazine covers, album covers, beauty and fashion editorials and she’s the subject a many a tumblr site, flickr album and blog.
Of the thousands of photos, the most striking are those of her famous profile. The heavily lidded eyes, the aqualine nose, full lips and that swan-like neck transcend time.
It was photographer Cecil Beaton who said, upon seeing her for the first time singing in a nightclub in New York in the summer of 1963, that she had “this strange Cleopatra-like profile with bold flow from forehead to nose” which captivated him.
Her profile has since inspired a slew of the world’s best photographers in addition to Beaton. Milton Greene, Greg Gorman, Steve Schapiro, Philippe Halsman, Richard Avedon, William Claxton, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Steven Meisel, Francesco Scavullo, Terry O’Neill, and Lawrence Schiller among them.
The above portrait is also the cover of the Taschen Book by photographers Steve Schapiro and Lawrence Schiller.
*Her creepy doll collection, the cloning of her dog and the fact that she once painted her house all purple to protect her from evil spirits are things I’ve chosen to forget because…. well, Babs!
Thanks to Pleasure Photo as well as the individual photographers sites for the images.
• Barbra Streisand books, movies and albums on Amazon.
• You can purchase some of these beautiful prints through various galleries via artsy here.
• A special shout to Matt Howe’s great Barbra Archives so I could double check dates and names!
• Another great fan site is this one curated by Renée Nicole Graves
• And of course, All About Barbra
• You’ll find all of Barbra’s album covers and more by super fan Paul Murray on Flickr here.
• The Taschen limited edition of Steve Schapiro and Lawrence Schiller’s Book