Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, one of Hollywood’s most renowned power couples, didn’t have an easy path to each other’s arms. Before their serendipitous union over two decades ago, both had weathered storms in previous marriages.
Streisand, known for her iconic voice, had been wed to actor Eliot Gould from 1963 to 1971, sharing one son, Jason. On the other hand, Brolin had two prior marriages, first with Jane Cameron Agee, with whom he had two children, including the well-known actor Josh Brolin, and then with Jan Smithers, with whom he has a daughter, Molly. Interestingly, before fate brought them together, Streisand had embraced her single life, finding comfort in her solitude.
Their fateful meeting occurred at a party where they were set up. Streisand, renowned for her candidness, couldn’t help but comment on Brolin’s recent haircut. This unexpected bluntness sparked something special, as Brolin admitted it was this moment that he fell in love with her. Their first date on July 1, 1996, was a marathon of conversation that stretched until 3 a.m., punctuated by the nervous excitement of a first kiss.
For Streisand, it took a couple of months to realize that Brolin was the one. Their budding relationship was often nurtured through long-distance calls, as Brolin headed to Ireland to direct “My Brother’s War.” By November, he had made the decision to move in with her.
Their engagement was no small affair, as fellow A-listers such as John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Marlon Brando eagerly awaited news of their wedding. Streisand’s love story took a special twist as she met the rabbi who would officiate their union during a dinner party, keeping the news under wraps until the right moment.
Their wedding in 1998 at Streisand’s Malibu estate was a glamorous affair. Streisand donned a crystal beaded Donna Karan gown with a 15-foot veil. The date, July 1, held special significance as it marked the second anniversary of their first date. Streisand’s flair for the dramatic even extended to the catering, where she insisted on Perrier over Pellegrino. To ensure privacy, loudspeakers were set up outside to drown out the press while they exchanged vows.
Among the guests were stars like Travolta, Preston, Hanks, Wilson, Quincy Jones, and Sydney Pollack. Streisand serenaded the audience with two love songs, while Brolin delivered an emotional speech, expressing his gratitude for finding love later in life. He poetically declared, “Every night is a new adventure. Sleeping is a waste of time. I can’t wait to see her again in the morning.”
Today, Streisand proudly celebrates two decades of marital bliss, a remarkable feat in the ever-evolving world of Hollywood relationships. She emphasizes the importance of truth tempered with compassion in their marriage, reflecting on her own growth in this regard. Streisand has come to appreciate the wisdom of the Dalai Lama’s advice: “Give truth with compassion,” a philosophy that has helped preserve their emotional bond.
Their enduring marriage also relies on practical elements, such as maintaining separate bank accounts. Brolin acknowledges the wisdom of this approach, stemming from his previous marriages. He firmly believes that this financial independence has been a key factor in their marital happiness.
Another secret to their long-lasting love is couples’ counseling, a tool they employ to resolve conflicts. Brolin advocates for this approach, emphasizing its effectiveness in addressing relationship challenges.
In the realm of keeping the romance alive, Streisand leaves love notes for Brolin, ensuring he feels cherished and welcomed when he returns home. In turn, he reciprocates, creating an atmosphere of mutual affection and appreciation.
The love story of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin is a testament to the enduring power of love, filled with candid moments, practical wisdom, and the magic of Hollywood romance.