How Barbra Streisand Chose Her Child Over Her Career, and Has Always Known What Comes First for Her

Barbra Streisand’s life is like a fairy tale — she’s a world-famous actress and singer with all sorts of music and movie awards. It seems that her life is perfect, and her motherhood is no exception. Barbra managed to raise a smart and talented son. More than that, she learned to accept him the way he is.

Barbra got pregnant in the spring of 1966. She was at the peak of her career. The singer was going to tour a concert around 20 cities in giant stadiums. The contract was for over a million dollars, which was an incredible sum for the time period. But Barbra decided to have a child and shrank the tour to just 4 performances.

The press instantly named the child a “million-dollar-baby,” which really upset the star. Barbra said, “Why must they measure everything in money? The most important thing is not what got canceled, but that a healthy baby is born.”


The singer decided that if she had a boy, she’d name him Jason Emanuel Gould, after her father, who died when she was a baby. Barbra and Elliot Gould’s son was born on December 29th. The singer was very happy. She said in one of her magazine interviews, “My son, what a marvelous phrase, ’my son,’ what a total accomplishment.”

© Hello, Dolly! / Twentieth Century Fox and co-produders, Courtesy Everett Collection / East News / East News

The star enjoyed motherhood. Even though she returned on the stage right after having a child, and then started a movie career, she tried not to be apart from her son, and she’d take him on the set with her and behind the scenes of her shows. When the boy was 6 years old, Streisand even found a small part for him in one of her movies.

Barbra didn’t plan to raise her son to be an actor. Jason returned to the world of cinema himself, when he was an adult. He had already had several small roles in movies with several different directors when Streisand invited him to be in the same project with her again.

Barbra gave him a role in The Prince of Tides, in which she produced, directed, and played the lead role. This adaptation of the popular novel by Pat Conroy later got 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. But even this successful experience didn’t inspire Jason to continue his movie career, because right after this film, a scandal broke out.

The tabloids, attracted by the film’s success, were looking for any information to increase their sales. The story they chose to publish was that the singer’s son was gay and had recently married a man. But this was only partly true.

Jason never hid his sexual orientation from his family. As soon as he found out he was gay, he told his parents, and they accepted it. But Gould wasn’t ready for such unceremonious attention of tabloids and their lies — he wasn’t married.

Jason would later say in his interviews, “It was shocking because it’s so untrue. It was just so grotesque to me that they could make up a story like that and claim they had seen pictures of my wedding to a man. And then print this story even though I deny it...” He also said that after that moment, directors only offered him roles written as gay stereotypes, and he wasn’t interested in these roles as an actor.

Streisand’s career started in a gay club The Lion in Greenwich Village, New York. Her talent, unusual appearance, and edgy style made her a superstar and a gay icon. Barbra fights for LGBT rights and uses her influence to support gay people. So, of course, she supports her son.

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“I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask for in their child?”, she said in an interview for The Advocate. Also, in a different interview, she said, “He (Jason) doesn’t see me as an icon. He sees me as his mother who touches his hair too much.”

In 2012, Jason decided to start a career in music. He released a mini-album and named it Jason Gould. He had his mother’s full support. She invited her son to tour with her so they could perform together, singing How Deep Is the Ocean from his EP. Gould later remembered, “It was a sweet experience really, and my mother was very supportive and encouraging. It was her idea.”

Gould released his next album in 2017 and called it Dangerous Man. Despite a good reception, Jason didn’t start a huge tour. He said about himself, “I’m a pretty laid-back guy. I like hanging out with friends, going to the movies and playing games. I have a dog, which brings me tremendous joy. The simple things in life fulfill me.”

And Barbra supports his choice, because she claims, “I have a wonderful son. My only wish for my son, Jason, is that he continues to experience a rich life of love, happiness, joy, and fulfillment, both creatively and personally.”

What other famous mothers are great role models, in your opinion?

Preview photo credit Hello, Dolly! / Twentieth Century Fox and co-produders, Courtesy Everett Collection / East News
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