Barbra Streisand Loved Her Dog So Much She Cloned Her—Twice

Illustration for article titled Barbra Streisand Loved Her Dog So Much She Cloned Her—Twice
Photo: Sean Gallup (Getty)

Sometime in 2017, Barbra Streisand lost Samantha, her beloved Coton du Tulear dog, to death—the one enemy that will eventually come for us all. Prior to Samantha’s death, Streisand did what any pet owner with a mall in her basement would: she harvested cells from Samantha’s stomach and mouth and had her cloned.


This tidbit is buried deep within an extensive profile in Variety, but is clearly the most important thing about Barbra Streisand, aside from the secret mall in her basement and the fact that one of her three favorite movies of 2017 is Three Billbords Outside Ebbing, Missouri. (The other two, for the record, are The Phantom Thread and Mudbound. She also wanted to direct Hidden Figures—put that in your pipe and smoke it, then let me know how that turns out.) Anyway, let’s just talk about the clones, as that is clearly the most important thing.

Here is the deal:

Along with her husband of 20 years, James Brolin, there’s no one she enjoys sharing her residence with more than her three Coton de Tulear dogs. Perhaps her biggest reveal: Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett were cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of her beloved 14-year-old dog Samantha, who died in 2017. Miss Fanny is a distant cousin.

“They have different personalities,” Streisand says. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”

Violet and Scarlett are the Samantha clones, and Streisand couldn’t tell them apart so she makes them wear a red shirt and a purple shirt, which goes with their names. There is a third dog, in case you’re wondering; its name is Miss Fanny (after Fanny Brice).

Per Streisand’s caption, my guess is that “Pink” is actually Scarlett and “Blue” is Miss Fanny, but it’s probably best not to assume anything about Babs. I cannot tell these cotton balls apart, so here’s one of them.


That’s Fanny, a distant cousin of the dearly departed Samantha. Could you tell? Is it okay to clone dogs? Should we all steal DNA from our beloved pets and send it to a pet cloning company and then greet the weird clone of our departed angels with open arms, only for them to turn on us in the night—a beast with a face you love but the heart and soul and mind of a the Devil? What about cats? A cloned cat is definitely Satan in a fur coat, and I will not be convinced otherwise.

Streisand reportedly wanted to title the portrait taken of her with her dogs “Send in the Clones” which leads me to believe that Barbra Streisand and I might be able to have a conversation that both of us enjoy in equal measure. For now, I will rest my weary head at night knowing that Barbra Streisand has cloned her dog not once, but twice—why not!

Senior Writer, Jezebel



I’ve never understood this. I am a dog freak, and of all my dogs, my heart was a Sheltie named Riley. I wouldn’t have cloned him. The dogs don’t look identical, or necessarily act the same, and even if another dog could have been his, er, doggelganger, he still wouldn’t be Riley. He would not be the dog who was at my wedding, the dog I spent perfect hours with at the park. When Riley died, that ended all the time I would spend with him, at least in this world.

The closest I’ve come to cloning him is my enduring relationship with rescue Shelties, but every single one has been unique. I honored him by sharing my life with other dogs who needed me. I didn’t bring more lives into a world with not enough homes.

There will never be another Riley, or another of any animal I’ve shared time with, and so each relationship is its own thing.