Singing legend Barbra Streisand fought back tears as she paid tribute to her dead dog SAMMY on pal Oprah Winfrey's chat show yesterday (14OCT03).

The star made her first TV show performance for 40 years when she sang movie classic SMILE - the tune she recorded after putting her beloved cancer-ridden pet to sleep last year (02).

And Streisand struggled with the song, twice covering her eyes, as images of her pet were flashed onto a big screen behind her.

During an instrumental interlude, she whispered, "He looks like he's smiling."

Streisand's tears of sadness were replaced by tears of joy when she introduced her new SAMMIE - a fifth wedding anniversary gift from her husband JAMES BROLIN - to the audience.

She was also thrilled to meet superfans, which Winfrey had flown in for the show after receiving begging letters from family members.

One devotee, VALENCIA SANDERS, was such a fan, she named her daughter after her heroine, and Winfrey flew STREISAND SANDERS in for a tearful family reunion.

Sanders charmed her way onto the show by writing to Winfrey and saying, "I'm so proud to be named after such an accomplished, talented woman.

"My mom and I used to watch Barbra movies and call it our date night. Please, please, please is there anyway you could surprise my mom with tickets to see Barbra sing on the show?"

After meeting the Sanders mother and daughter a thrilled Streisand turned to Oprah and said, "That's so adorable. God, you do wonderful things. You make so many people happy."

15/10/2003 08:56