The Artist was awarded Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was the first silent film to win the award since 1927, and the first French film to win it in the history of the Oscars. The Artist is a truly historic and important film. Any actor to be a part of this film can look upon their life at any point and call their career a success, if only a brief success. An actor that played one of the most beloved characters in The Artist has died at the age of 13 after valiantly fighting prostate cancer. In his brief time on the planet, he lived a full life, and had a prolific career.
His name was Uggie. He was a Jack Russell terrier.
The Washington Post reports that Uggie did not always have live the halcyon life that he enjoyed after co-starring in The Artist. In typical fashion for a Jack Russell terrier, he was a rambunctious sort, so much so that he was rejected by two owners in his youth. He was saved in the nick of time, likely from euthanasia, by a Hollywood dog trainer named Omar Von Meuller.
Von Meuller was the one to break the news on Facebook, after learning that TMZ had caught wind of the story.
The post is heartfelt and sad, but also brings up a point of contention, alleging that Sarah Clifford, who claimed to know and train Uggie for The Artist, never did.
The Artist was not Uggie’s only credit. In fact, he had a prolific resume that any actor would be proud to claim. Of course, as is common with cute dog actors, he began his career in commercials. His big break in film was for the 2005 movie Wassup Rockers, and then in 2011, he played a role in the movie Water for Elephants. At the ripe old age of nine, he, of course, starred in The Artist, but that was not the end of his career. After The Artist, he became somewhat of a media darling. According to CBS News, he placed his paw prints in the cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Uggie was even a spokesdog for Nintendo after it was announced that he would retire after the Academy Awards.
At the awards, Uggie joined his co-star, Jean Dujardin, on stage to accept Dujardin’s award for Best Actor in The Artist.
[Images by Micheal Buckner and David Livingston / Getty Images]