Uggie The Dog Dies At 13

Published: August 12, 2015

Uggie The Dog Dies At 13, Uggie the dog, the canine star of Oscar-winning film The Artist, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 13.

The Jack Russell terrier, who also starred opposite Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants, was put down on Tuesday after suffering from prostate cancer, TMZ reported.

Born in 2002, Uggie narrowly avoided the dog pound as a puppy thanks to animal trainer Omar von Muller who rescued him and raised him for a life in show business.

Starting out, as so many stars before him, in commercials, Uggie’s breakout role came as “The Dog” – loyal companion to George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) – in Michel Hazanavicius’s ode to silent cinema, The Artist.

The film won five Academy awards, including best picture in 2012, and Uggie himself was honoured with a Palm Dog award at Cannes film festival.

Fresh off the movie’s success, Uggie paid a visit to the Guardian and Observer offices in London where, in a short silent film, he shook paws with journalists in the newsroom, performed tricks and shared his future actorly ambitions.

“I’m a big fan of England, English theatre, Shakespeare and all those guys,” Uggie told film writer Xan Brooks. “One day, who knows, I’d like to do Hamlet and stuff.”

He was also the first dog to leave his paw prints outside Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Hollywood, and fans reposted pictures in their Twitter tributes on Wednesday.

– Marc Snetiker (@MarcSnetiker) August 12, 2015
RIP Uggie you were too good for this world 🐶

Omar von Muller announced his protege’s retirement in 2012 but Uggie’s Imdb entry shows he has taken the odd role since, including a recent uncredited cameo as “Racist Dog'” in an episode of the TV show Key and Peele.

He also penned a memoir, Uggie, the Artist: My Story, spilling the beans on his encounters with fellow celebrities and his “enduring crush” on Reese Witherspoon, “finally sealed with a kiss at the White House correspondents’ dinner”.

The last line of that book proves a fitting sign-off: “I lick each of your faces, truly.”


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