Uggie the dog: Hollywood sheds a collective tear following death of Jack Russell from The Artist

'I will forever hold him dearly in my heart and never forget his infinite love for chicken and hot dogs,' Uggie’s trainer Sarah Clifford said

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Hollywood shed a collective tear at news of the passing of the film industry’s most famous canine star, Uggie, the Jack Russell who charmed cinema audiences with his role in the Oscar-winning movie The Artist.

After playing the faithful friend of lead actor Jean Dujardin in the French silent comedy, Uggie continued his film career by appearing opposite Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants, also in 2011.

“I will forever hold him dearly in my heart and never forget his infinite love for chicken and hot dogs,” Uggie’s trainer Sarah Clifford told the celebrity website TMZ as news emerged of the animal’s death at the age of 13. She described him as the “perfect terrier”.

Uggie, Jack Russell - The Artist (2011).

Tinseltown had already recognised the terrier’s A-list status by allowing him to become the first dog to print its paws at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, alongside the prints of stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire. The celebrity dog savoured the moment by posing on his hind legs for photographers.


The Cannes Film Festival also acknowledged Uggie’s acting talents, honouring him with a “Palm Dog” award in 2011. The organisers of the award reacted to news of Uggie’s passing by paying tribute to a “special little Jack Russell who gave pleasure to millions”.

Uggie was saved from the dog pound by Omar Von Muller, who owned him from the age of two. The pet had been rejected by two previous owners. Mr Von Muller started training the animal for the movies and he began his career making commercials, like many photogenic pooches before him.

The Artist, in which he played “The Dog”, landed five Academy Awards and was the film that marked Uggie out from other performing canines. He was shown playing dead, hiding his head in his paws and walking on his hind legs.

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Fan Wendy Coumantaros receives a kiss from Uggie, a trained Jack Russell Terrier during the book signing of his new book "Uggie: The Artist: My Story" at a book shop in London October 30, 2012. (Reuters)

The Jack Russell entered the hall of fame of dogs that have appeared on the big screen, alongside the great Lassie, a Collie who had films in its own name in the Forties and Fifties, Toto, the Cairn Terrier from The Wizard of Oz, Wire-haired Terrier Asta, who appeared alongside Katharine Hepburn, and Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd who had 23 movies in his list of credits.

Uggie’s other credits included What’s Up Scarlet?, Wassup Rockers and Mr Fix It, and even after his retirement in 2012 he made a succession of television appearances. His final film performance came in 2013 when he played “Scoots” in Holiday Road Trip.

His story so fascinated the film-going public that Uggie published an “autobiography”, Uggie: My Story, ghost-written by Wendy Holden.

The canine star had been suffering from a prostate tumour and Mr von Muller confirmed in a Facebook post that “our beloved boy has passed away”.