Uggie, the scene-stealing Jack Russell terrier who became an international superstar with his appearance in the 2011 best-picture Oscar winner “The Artist,” has died following a bout with cancer.
Uggie’s trainer/owner Omar von Muller announced the death on Facebook.
“We regret to inform … all our friends, family and Uggie’s fans that our beloved boy has passed away,” he wrote. “… In short, Uggie had a cancerous tumor in the prostate and is now in a better place not feeling pain.”
In June 2012, Uggie sank his paws in to cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in a ceremony that also marked his retirement from show business.
According to biographical information provided by publicists for “The Artist,” Uggie was born in Florida in 2002 and was too wild and high energy for his first owners to be a simple companion dog. Von Muller, a professional animal trainer, adopted Uggie and soon after he began appearing in print ads and television commercials for dog food, cars and beer.
Uggie traveled with the Incredible Dogs Show, appearing in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and Miami, performing tricks and riding a skateboard. He also appeared in the films, “Mr. Fix It,” “What’s Up Scarlett,” “Wassup Rockers” and “Water for Elephants.”
Uggie won the 2011 Palm Dog Award and was named the best dog in a theatrical film at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards for his work in “The Artist,” in which he portrayed the co-star and loyal off-screen companion of silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin.)
—City News Service