Fate brought James Brolin and Barbra Streisand together. Now no force on Earth can tear these two apart.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 2, 2021. It has since been updated.
Known as one of Hollywood's most well-known power couples, both actor James Brolin and actress Barbra Streisand were unlucky in love... until they met each other. And for over 21 years, the two have been happy together, loving each moment they have with each other. And it doesn't look like they're about slow down. But let's go back to the beginning of these lovebirds' magical journey together.
Before fate brought the two together, Streisand was previously married to actor Elliott Gould with whom she had a son Jason Gould. Brolin, on the other hand, was twice married before. First, to actress Jane Cameron Agee, with whom he had sons, Josh and Jess Brolin; and then to actress Jan Smithers, with whom he had daughter Molly Elizabeth, according to Us Weekly. However, their marriages didn't last and both were single. In fact, the 77-year-old actress had become used to her single status. "Without being in despair, I was finally liking my solitude," she told People. But things were about to change, for both of them.
The couple first laid eyes on each other when they went on a blind date in 1996. In an interview with W Magazine, the Funny Girl actress said, "My husband and I were set up on a blind date," she told the magazine. "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. I asked him, ‘Who screwed up your hair?’"
And apparently, it was at that moment that the Von Ryan's Express actor felt all the passion and love explode for her. "He later told me that’s when he fell in love with me. My fella likes to hear the truth, which is unusual," she continued. But he wasn't the only one feeling the sparks. According to Today, she once told talk show host, Meredith Vieira, that "a couple of months" later, she knew he was the guy for her.
Barbra Streisand and husband, James Brolin, as photographed last year, Barbra's 80th birthday. pic.twitter.com/QWjausJtfN— Edward Elderman (@edwereddie) April 25, 2023
Exactly two years to the date they first met, the two exchanged rings and vows to love and honor each other in sickness and in health. During their ceremony, Streisand sang two love songs and Brolin gave an emotional speech. "I can't tell you how lucky I am that this would happen to me so late in life," he said, according to People. "Every night is a new adventure. Sleeping is a waste of time. I can't wait to see her again in the morning."
The quiet, intimate wedding had stars like John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Quincy Jones, and Sydney Pollack. And “It was probably the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to,” said Travolta. “Kelly and I cried.” As for the bride, “In all the years I’ve known Barbra, I’ve seen her happy, but always with a cloud,” said her longtime friend, songwriter Marilyn Bergman. “This time it was a clear blue sky.”
Now, the 77-year-old A Star is Born actress is really glad her marriage lasted so long. "Twenty years in Hollywood is like 50 years in Chicago, I always say," she told Extra. She said she's learned how to tell the truth in a way that preserves emotions. "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."
According to Fox News, Brolin revealed that no matter how busy their schedules, they find time to be with each other. "We both long to come home to see each other and yet we both love to be in the mix of things at our age," he explained. "We should be retired and on rocking chairs. But she is so intent on what she’s doing. As for me, I’m busy all the time. But we come home to each other. The evenings we’re always together. The days are just us running and holding our pants up."
As for the key to their 21-year-long marriage — "We've bifurcated, and I love it that way," he told HuffPost Live. "I have my own money and she has her own money. […] This is my third marriage, and I know what trouble can come out of marriage, so I didn't want any reason that I would ever have to be either divorced or married again. We've been in heaven for 20 years, so it works."
But that's not the only secret. The two are big believers of couples' therapy. "I do believe in counseling if anybody ever has a problem in their marriage," he 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!"
For Streisand's part, she tries to keep the romance alive by leaving love notes. "I'm always welcome when I get home," Brolin told ET. "I always get notes, 'Hurry home!' When I get there, there's always something kind of great waiting for me, some plan, and I try to reciprocate."
Well, it's working because the couple is still going strong after more than two decades together. And for their 21st anniversary, the Life in Pieces star put up a sweet picture of him and his beautiful wife with a simple caption, "Lucky 21." Here's to many more decades of love, dedication and humor to keep them together.