Uggie the dog quits showbusiness career


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The Independent Culture

Uggie, the canine star of the Oscar-winning film The Artist, became the first dog to put its paw prints in cement outside the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The Jack Russell terrier was celebrated at a treat-laden ceremony outside the landmark as councillor Tom LaBonge declared it Uggie Day in Los Angeles.

"The main message that Uggie would like to send to everybody out there is to please adopt," Uggie's trainer, Omar Van Muller, told the crowd.

"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."

The event also marked Uggie's retirement from show business.

Van Muller said Uggie, whose other film credits include Mr Fix It and Water for Elephants, would no longer star in films but would appear at charity events and other functions.

Uggie, who arrived at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in a fire engine, was bestowed with a golden bow-tie collar and given a cake in the shape of a fire hydrant after performing tricks for photographers and tourists lining a red carpet.

Uggie's Artist stand-ins - his brother Dash and another Jack Russell named Dude - were noticeably absent at the festivities.

The trio shared the role of the canine companion to Jean Dujardin's fading silent film star in The Artist. The movie won five trophies at the Academy Awards earlier this year, including the best picture prize.

Uggie was nearly upstaged at his own event when pop star Katy Perry unexpectedly appeared across the street, attracting a crowd of police and barking fans.

Perry was scheduled to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which is filmed at the nearby El Capitan Theatre.

After cementing his paws, Uggie dipped them in ink and autographed DVD and Blu-ray copies of The Artist. The dog was visibly shaken during much of the event, probably due to a combination of the large crowd and the oppressive summer heat. Following the nearly hour-long event, Uggie and company retreated inside the theatre.

Uggie joins a long list of celebrities who have left handprints and footprints in the courtyard of the tourist spot. Among them were Johnny Depp, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire and Kim Novak.

While Uggie is the first canine to be showcased at Grauman's courtyard, three dogs - Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart - have stars on the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame along with fictional creatures like Godzilla, Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and The Muppets.