Barbra Streisand will be honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center at their 40th Chaplin Award Gala on April 22. Former President Bill Clinton, a longtime friend of Streisand’s, will present the award to her.
Streisand was the first American woman artist to receive credit as writer, director, producer, and star of a major feature film in 1983 with Yentl, the Jewish themed musical about a girl who masquerades as a boy to get an education at a yeshiva. Streisand also directed the films The Prince of Tides and The Mirror Has Two Faces.
“Barbra Streisand is an American icon whose groundbreaking work significantly opened the doors for other female filmmakers,” said Film Society Executive Director Rose Kuo. “She has been an inspiration to me and so many of my peers. She is the perfect recipient for our 40th anniversary because, like our award’s namesake, she is a world class, multi-faceted film artist.”
The Film Society’s Annual Gala began in 1972 and honored Charlie Chaplin – who returned to the United States from exile to accept the commendation. Since then, the award has been renamed for Chaplin, and has honored many of the film industry’s most notable talents, including Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Sidney Poitier, and last year, Catherine Deneuve.
Streisand has long been an outspoken supporter of the Democratic Party and liberal causes. In 1971, Streisand was one of the celebrities listed on President Richard Nixon’s infamous Enemies List. She recently told CNN’s Piers Morgan that she could never fall in love with someone who was a Republican (fortunately, her husband of 14 years, actor James Brolin, is a liberal Democrat like Streisand). She was an early backer of Bill Clinton’s and initially supported Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2008 before endorsing Barack Obama. Clinton has a history of befriending and hobnobbing with Hollywood celebrities. Last month he appeared on the Golden Globe Awards to introduce a clip from Lincoln after being invited to do so by the film’s director, Steven Spielberg. He received a standing ovation.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Streisand holds the record for the most top-ten albums of any female recording artist – a total of 32 since 1963. She has the widest span (48 years) between first and latest top-ten albums of any female recording artist. With her 2009 album, Love Is the Answer, she became one of the rare artists to achieve number-one albums in five consecutive decades. According to the RIAA, she has released 51 Gold albums, 30 Platinum albums, and 13 Multi-Platinum albums in the United States.
Her latest CD, a collection of 11 previously unreleased songs called Release Me, came out in October. Her newest film, the road trip comedy The Guilt Trip, opened in late December.