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Happy 70th Birthday, Barbra Streisand!

WENN, Monday, April 23, 2012, 5:36pm (PDT)
  • Bow down to Hollywood royalty Barbra Streisand -- the superstar turns 70 on Tuesday!

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    The veteran singer-actress began her career as a nightclub singer in her native New York while she was still a teenager, but in the decades since, she has established herself as one of the most successful entertainers of all time, garnering awards in music, film and on the stage.

    And Streisand has no intention of retiring as she enters the next chapter in her life: She recently signed a new deal with Columbia Records and is set to star alongside Seth Rogen in the comedy "The Guilt Trip" later this year.

    She celebrates a big birthday this week, and to mark her age milestone, WENN has compiled 10 fascinating facts about the Brooklyn-born legend. Happy birthday, Babs!

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    - Streisand met fellow singer Neil Diamond when they were both students attending New York's Erasmus High School. They have remained good friends ever since, and scored a hit single in 1978 with the duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."

    - She lost her father, Emanuel, when she was just 15 months old after he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died. Her mother, Diana, later remarried. Barbra's half-sister is the singer Roslyn Kind.

    - She changed the spelling of her name from "Barbara" to "Barbra" early on in her career in a bid to set her apart from other stars.

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    - The singer, who has sold more than 70 million records worldwide, was named the best-selling female artist by officials at the Recording Industry Association of America, while she topped another RIAA list of female recording artists with the most top 10 albums in 2008, with 32 hit records since 1963 to her name.

    - Streisand took her critically acclaimed performance in the popular Broadway musical "Funny Girl" and turned it into a hit movie in 1968. It was her first film role and was considered such a great success that she was awarded the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Fanny Brice.

    - Streisand is one of only 14 artists in the world who can boast an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, making her a member of the exclusive EGOT club, alongside Liza Minnelli, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg.

    - The icon decided to step behind the cameras to set up Barwood Films in 1972, and she went on to serve as producer, director and star of films like 1983's "Yentl," "The Prince of Tides" in 1991 and "The Mirror Has Two Faces" in 1996.

  • - Streisand has been married twice -- first to actor Elliott Gould, from 1963 to 1971, and to James Brolin, whom she wed in 1998. Ironically, she starred alongside both of her husbands in the 1977 conspiracy sci-fi thriller "Capricorn One."

    - She is stepmom to Academy Award-nominated star Josh Brolin and godmother to movie producer Jon Peters' two daughters, Caleigh and Skye.

    - The kindhearted star has donated millions of dollars to various charities and causes over the years through her nonprofit The Streisand Foundation, which provides grants to "national organizations working on preservation of the environment, voter education, the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, women's issues and nuclear disarmament."

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