Emmys: How Barbra Streisand's 'My Name Is Barbra' Became a TV Legend

Barbra Streisand poses with her first Emmy, for the 1965 CBS special "My Name Is Barbra."
Barbra Streisand poses with her first Emmy, for the 1965 CBS special "My Name Is Barbra."
 CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

When My Name Is Barbra aired April 28, 1965, on CBS, The Hollywood Reporter gave it an almost overly gushing review.

The paper said that on Barbra Streisand's one-woman show, the "metamorphosis from the self-conscious and awkward youngster who first appeared on the wave of her smash record single and album is so remarkable as to almost defy comparison."

It went on to say that the "former moth emerged as a radiant butterfly" and praised her "consummate poise, dignity, warmth and ability to act both the clown and the tragedian."

Not bad for someone who days before had turned 23 and was just a couple years removed from singing at New York gay bars.

What's remarkable is Streisand taped the show in segments while concurrently doing eight shows a week of Funny Girl on Broadway.

Despite the work pressures, the legendary Streisand perfectionism didn't fade. One fan remembers the taping of just the concert segment taking four hours and her doing a dozen takes on "Happy Days Are Here Again."

All the work paid off. The show won multiple Emmys and a Peabody and is on the Paley Center for Media's list of greatest television moments.  

 

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