The Truth About Barbra Streisand And James Brolin's Marriage

Barbra Streisand spent decades in the public eye, with her every professional and personal move put under a microscope. Like many celebrities, Streisand married a co-star when she and Elliott Gould wed in 1963. The pair met while appearing in the Broadway musical "I Can Get It For You Wholesale" and had one son together, Jason. The pair divorced in 1971, and it would be decades until Streisand would walk down the aisle again.

The actor and singer, whose classics include "People," "Evergreen," "Enough is Enough," and "Guilty," dated hairdresser-turned-movie producer Jon Peters in the 1970s and had a public romance with actor Don Johnson in the late 1980s, with the pair even recording a duet together called "Till I Love You." A romance with tennis great Andre Agassi followed, and then came the keeper in the mid-1990s — James Brolin.

James Brolin had his own share of romances before Barbra Streisand

James Brolin, who came to fame in the 1970s television medical drama "Marcus Welby, MD" married Jane Agee in 1966. Although the two would later divorce, the marriage produced two children, Josh and Jess. After another bout with TV fame in the 80s on the series "Hotel," Brolin married actress Jan Smithers and had one more child, Molly. Brolin and Smithers divorced almost a decade later, and the next year, in 1996, Brolin met Barbra Streisand on a blind date set up by Jon Peters' ex-wife, according to People. Of course, they knew who one another was, but they had never met in person.

As Streisand described their date: "I met him at a dinner and expected a bearded mountain-man type, and he had cut off all his hair and was clean-shaven," Streisand told W Magazine. "I asked him, 'Who screwed up your hair?' He later told me that's when he fell in love with me. My fella likes to hear the truth, which is unusual."

Soon after they met, Brolin had to travel to Ireland to direct the film "My Brother's War," so the pair had a romance by phone. By November of that year, Streisand and Brolin were living together, according to Good Housekeeping.

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin threw a celebrity-filled wedding

Barbra Streisand's first and only other wedding took place 35 year prior with not a lot of fanfare. At age 56, she was not going to let her second wedding be the same. Streisand and James Brolin married in the summer of 1998 at her Malibu estate with A-listers making up the long guest list, including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Quincy Jones, and Sydney Pollack. Streisand donned a Donna Karan gown with a stunning 15-foot veil, but kept the vows from the press by putting loud speakers outside the property to drown out their voices at the ceremony (via Good Housekeeping).

Streisand was clearly in love because the notoriously stage-fraught singer sang two ballads at the wedding, with the groom giving a speech. "I can't tell you how lucky I am that this would happen to me so late in life," he said in the speech (via People). "Every night is a new adventure. Sleeping is a waste of time. I can't wait to see her again in the morning."

Barbra Streisand finally found someone in James Brolin

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin have been married for well over two decades and are still going strong as husband and wife, and they still look like they're very much in love. When they celebrated 20 years since they first met in 2016, Streisand expressed pride in how she and her husband had kept their relationship strong for two decades. "Twenty years in Hollywood is like 50 years in Chicago, I always say," Streisand told Extra.

She also explained that she and Brolin keep their relationship strong by being kind to one another. "The Dalai Lama says, 'Give truth with compassion ... ' I used to use truth as a weapon years ago, actually, 'Well, you look fat 'cause you're fat ... I'm telling you the truth.' Truth with compassion would say it a different way — I don't think you can take each other for granted."

And, when that does not work, Streisand and Brolin work through their issues in therapy. "I do believe in counseling if anybody ever has a problem in their marriage," Brolin told Entertainment Tonight. "Bring in a referee, talk it over, and I swear to you, it will dispel by the end of the session, each time!"

James Brolin took marriage advice from a former co-star

James Brolin became a proponent for relationship counseling after working with actor Connie Sellecca in "Hotel." In a 2022 interview with People, Brolin recalled his costar's advice on marriage, calling it "the greatest idea ever. Call a shrink six months before you're married, and both of you sit there with him. So that once you're married, if you ever need a tune-up, it's not an issue with one of the people." 

Brolin echoed similar sentiments while speaking to TMZ in New York City in 2023. The actor reaffirmed the benefits of speaking with a professional, adding, "Whether you pay the guy or it's a smart friend." He advised couples to "stick with it" and "cry together" (via YouTube).  

The couple's mutual belief in marriage counseling has undoubtedly forged a strong bond between the two lovebirds, and they have no plans of slowing down as they enjoy retirement together. 

Barbra Streisand wants to travel with James Brolin

Barbra Streisand spoke with the BBC ahead of the release of her memoir, "My Name Is Barbra," in November 2023. The tell-all autobiography reveals a wealth of surprising details about her life, but as her husband, James Brolin, explained on "The View" in April of that year, the memoir somewhat concludes as their next life chapter begins. "She says there's a second book," Brolin said. "It kind of ends when we meet" (via YouTube). 

However, Streisand doesn't leave readers entirely in the dark about her and Brolin's ongoing love story. The singer mused in her memoir, "I haven't had much fun in my life, to tell you the truth. And I want to have fun." For Streisand, this looks like spending time and traveling with Brolin and her family. 

"I want to live life," she told the BBC. "I want to get in my husband's truck and just wander, hopefully with the children somewhere near us. Life is fun for me when they come over. They love playing with the dogs, and we have fun."