LOS ANGELES – Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who became a canine star for his scene-stealing role in the Oscar-winning movie “The Artist,” has died.
Uggie was euthanized Friday after a bout with prostate cancer, his owner, Los Angeles animal trainer Omar Von Muller, said Wednesday. The dog was 13.
“He was a real friend. He was very special,” said Von Muller, who plans to bury the dog in his backyard.
In “The Artist,” Uggie played the canine companion to Jean Dujardin’s fading silent-film star. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Picture, lead actor and director in 2011.
Uggie shared scenes in the film with his brother Dash and another Jack Russell named Dude. Uggie’s other credits included the movies “Water for Elephants” and “Mr. Fix It.”
He retired in 2012 in a ceremony at the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where he became the first dog to leave his paw prints in concrete alongside the prints of human stars.
Uggie was a rescue dog, a cause that his owner championed.“The main message that Uggie would like to send to everybody out there is to please adopt,” Von Muller said at the paw-print ceremony. “He’s adopted. He made it. If you guys can adopt a dog, even if they don’t make it on the big screen, they’ll be big stars at your house.”
Von Muller made it a point to keep Uggie in shape and feeling young with exercise, including using a dog treadmill.
“If they don’t get their exercise, they get old too fast, just like people,” the trainer said in an interview three years ago.
Von Muller announced Uggie’s death in Facebook post, saying, “Our beloved boy has passed away.”