Dec. 15, 2010 — -- Entertainment legend Barbra Streisand has done it all.
During her career spanning five decades, Streisand has conquered the big screen, the Broadway stage and the recording studio -- creating hit after hit and selling out concert tours around the globe.
She had strong motivation to make it in the business: She didn't like to make her bed.
Laughing, she recalled standing in her $60-a-month apartment and looking "at this messy bed.
"I mean, I changed the sheets. I went to the Laundromat on Ninth Avenue and so forth," she said from her Malibu, Calif., home in a one-on-one interview with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts. "But I never, I-- I never learned how to tuck a corner in or anything like that, you know? And I thought, 'God, I gotta make it in order to get my bed made.' You know, it's a simple thought."
Her work paid off. The singer/songwriter, actress and film producer has earned an Academy Award, multiple Grammy Awards and other top industry and peer accolades – all while maintaining her commitment to civil rights activism, philanthropy and a campaign to fund heart disease research.
Now she's adding another title to her long resume of achievements: best-selling author.
In the interview that aired today, Streisand talked to Roberts about her career, new movie and passions.
Her new book, "My Passion for Design," details her eye for aesthetics, along with her love of art and early American architecture. Her newest home, dubbed "The Barn," showcases American design and craftsmanship, and comes complete with an extensive doll and vintage clothing collection and a movie screening room.
The residence was showcased in a limited-edition DVD.
"What was going through your mind in creating all of this?" Roberts asked her.
"Hmm. Well, first of all, a movie that I was gonna do fell through. So I had the need for a creative expression. And I was stalling building the house since 1994," she said. "But then I kept thinking about, 'I could actually have a piece of the Northeast without having to move back there,' 'cause I like living in California. And this became my art project."
Passion for Directing
Streisand said she's always had a passion for the places she calls home – even the first tiny apartment with the bathtub in the kitchen.
"You had to take a bath, wash your dishes and put a top on as a table. But I loved it … I loved it 'cause it was my own, the first, you know, $60-a-month apartment," she said.
Streisand also described herself as "very lazy," commenting with a chuckle: "I read this the other day, I guess I -- this is my, was it, 18th movie. That's very, very few movies in a career."
She is reprising her role as Rosalind Focker in "Little Fockers," which open in theaters December 22.
Streisand is a consummate dramatic and comedic actress, but the lure of the director's chair is calling to her again. "The Prince of Tides," the film she directed in 1991, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
"I like the work. I like the challenge of, 'How do you tell a story? How do you get the best out of actors' performances?'" she said.
As for her music career, Streisand said she loves recording and plans to start doing so again next month. In fact, the songs and music for that album are stuck in her head, she said.
"It's driving me a little crazy," she noted, laughing.
Streisand records her music in a home on her property called "Grandma's House."
When she not satisfying her creative outlets, Streisand works to save women from heart disease.
"I was so shocked by that fact that heart disease in women kills more women than all cancers combined. That's why I've funded … my educational research department at (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) for the Women's Heart Center, to promote healthy hearts," she said.
Click HERE to learn more about the Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Center.
Streisand said her work is inspired by her father, an educator and scholar who died at 35.
"There was so much he wanted to write. There was so much he wanted to do. And he never got to do it. So maybe I'm somehow doing it for him," she said.
See more of the interview with Barbra Streisand tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35..