Barbra Streisand was born in Williamsburg, New York, to Emanuel Streisand and Diana Ida. Her father was a high school teacher, whose parents were Austrian. He died when Barbra was just 15 months old. Streisand has a half-sister, Roslyn Kind, who was also a singer. Barbra had a very turbulent relationship with her step-father, Louis Kind.
Whilst attending Erasmus Hall High School, Barbra Streisand sang in the school choir with Neil Diamond.
In her teens, Streisand won a singing competition and started to sing in nightclubs. She was keen to get into acting and appeared in a number of off-Broadway shows, including Driftwood, with Joan Rivers.
Barbra Streisand made her debut TV appearance on The Tonight Show, hosted by Jack Paar, singing 'A Sleepin' Bee' by Harold Arlen