The 30 Best Barbra Streisand Quotes

The 81-year-old New York City Born actress and singer, Barbra Streisand, long signified success, strength, and authenticity. Streisand, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, is also known for her roles in movies like A Star is Born, the version of which inspired the latest incarnation of the movie starring Lady Gaga.

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She’s been nominated for 43 Grammy Awards and won eight. In 1992, she received the Grammy Legend Award, and in 1994 the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She’s also won two Oscars. With a career like that, one might wonder what Streisand has to say about the world around her, about life and love, her craft, and her family. Here are the best 30 Barbara Streisand quotes.

1. “I’m a work in progress.”

2. “I don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like talking about the work.”

3. “Just like my father, I’ve always loved education. In school, I was a member of the honor society.”

4. “When I sing, people shut up.”

5. “It is sort of boring to stay in the same spot. You know, I didn’t set out to become the first to do this, the first to do that. It was just that my interests were so diversified.”

[RELATED: Barbra Streisand to Receive 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award]

6. “My mother told me I should be a secretary, but I wanted to be an actress from when I was very young.”

7. “I’m sure that I don’t know everything I want to know. I have so much more to learn.”

8. “When I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, the neighborhood girls would sit on the stoop and sing. I was known as the kid who had a good voice and no father.”

9. “My nose was part of my heritage, and if I had talent to sing and to act, why wasn’t that enough?”

10. “My mother had a great voice. Not like mine, not like my sister’s, not like my son’s—a high soprano voice, but like a bird. I mean, really beautiful.”

11. “I was raised on the streets, in hot, steamy Brooklyn, with stifled air.”

12. “Directing is so interesting. You know, it just sort of encompasses everything that you see, that you know, that you’ve felt, that you have observed.”

13. “Being a woman in music was fine, but when I wanted to direct, I was poking my head into a man’s world.”

14. “When I was working a lot, I felt guilty as a parent. I couldn’t pick up my son every day from school, bake him cookies and that kind of thing.”

15. “I’ve always liked working really hard and then doing nothing in particular. So, consequently, I didn’t overexpose myself; I guess I maintained a kind of mystery.”

[RELATED: Top 10 Barbra Streisand Songs]

16. “I got sent to a health camp when I was about 6 years old, and we all had to wear the same starchy blue uniform. The lady who took care of me after school knit me a burgundy sweater. It was the only thing that gave me any individuality.”

17. “Sometimes you resent the people you love and need the most. Love is so fascinating in all its forms, and I think everyone who has ever been a mother will relate to this.”

18. “I love road trips! My husband and I love that. We bought a truck with a bench seat so we could put the dog in the middle.

19. “As a young woman, I wanted nothing more than to see my name in lights.”

20. “When I was a teenager in New York, I was buying antique clothes. I still am.”

21. “I only began to sing because I couldn’t get a job as an actress.”

22. “Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both. They balance each other out.”

23. “There’s a part of you that always remains a child, no matter how mature you get, how sophisticated or weary.”

24. “I am simple, complex, generous, selfish, unattractive, beautiful, lazy, and driven.”

25. “There is nothing more important in life than love.”

[RELATED: Behind The Song: Barbra Streisand, “The Way We Were”]

26. “To have ego means to believe in your own strength. And to also be open to other people’s views. It is to be open, not closed. So, yes, my ego is big, but it’s also very small in some areas. My ego is responsible for my doing what I do—bad or good.”

27. “I like simple things. Elastic waists, so I can eat.”

28. “I can take any truth; just don’t lie to me.”

29. “I knew that with a mouth like mine, I just had to be a star or something.”

30. “Success to me is having ten honeydew melons and eating only the top half of each slice.”

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for BSB

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