Watch Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg Receive Medal of Freedom from President Obama

President Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to 17 recipients, including Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim and James Taylor.

The Medal of Freedom is the White House’s highest civilian honor.

Obama was in a playful mood as he read through the list of awardees, at one point noting Streisand’s Brooklyn upbringing and quipping, “I didn’t know you were Jewish, Barbra.”

He also read through her list of accomplishments, including her support of women’s heart health and women’s equality, telling the audience packed into the East Room of the White House, “I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it.” (A reference to the Coffee Talk skits on “Saturday Night Live.”)

Obama referenced Taylor’s lyrics in citing his honor, telling the audience that “you always feel like he is singing only to you.”

Other entertainment honorees included Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio Estefan, who accepted their awards together, and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

When Sondheim, seated next to Streisand, stood and walked to Obama to accept his award, he first stood behind the lectern with the presidential seal, before Obama directed him into place to his right. Obama said Sondheim has “reinvented the American musical.”

Obama quipped that as Spielberg attended the ceremony, “Someone is calling him looking for a deal right now. They want to make a pitch, ‘So there is this really good looking president…'” The crowd laughed.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Looks like the same type of people..no diversity of views…

More Biz News from Variety

Loading