For this week’s Variety cover story, Barbra Streisand revealed that, prior to the November 2017 death of her beloved 14-year-old Coton du Tulear Samantha, the entertainment icon extracted cells taken from the pooch’s mouth and stomach. The genetic material was later used to create Samantha clones, which Streisand named Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett after initially dressing both dogs in red and lavender to tell them apart. The 75-year-old further suggested a caption for their new portrait of her posing with Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett: “Send in the Clones,” a nod to her popular 1985 cover of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.”
“They have different personalities,” Streisand told the publication of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her (Samantha’s) brown eyes and seriousness.”
Between Samantha’s death and the arrival of the clones, Streisand acquired another dog, whose mother was named Funny Girl in honor of the Oscar-winning actress’ Broadway hit and 1968 film. After adopting the dog, Streisand began calling her Miss Fanny, the nickname her character’s dresser calls her. Miss Fanny is reportedly a distant cousin of the late Samantha as well.
“She was always with me; the last 14 years she went everywhere I went,” Streisand told the Associated Press following Samantha’s death late last year. “She was at every performance. It was like losing a child. It was kind of awful.”
Streisand’s obsession with her canine companions has been well documented over the years. She made a memorable tribute to her animal friends during a 2003 episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” during which she performed a cover of the Charlie Chaplin and Nat King Cole tune “Smile” as a slideshow featuring images of her dog played behind her.
Read Variety’s full cover story on Streisand here.