The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently held their annual academy awards (aka OSCARS) in Hollywood, California. For almost nine (9) decades, the OSCARS have been awarded to everyone who labors to make the movies come to life.
But what about animal actors? Not once in nearly 100 years has an OSCAR been awarded to an actor from the animal kingdom. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences simply does not recognize animal actors for their performances. Even though there is nothing in the rules that forbids animal actors from receiving this award.
How about some recognition for animal actors? After all, they work just as hard as human thespians to learn their roles and memorize their lines too.
Think about this …
If it weren’t for Spike’s performance as Old Yeller who would have cried during the final scene of “Old Yeller”?
If Cat (real name Orangey) hadn’t run away, how would have “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” ended?
And what about Toto (real name Terry), had he not gone behind the curtain Dorothy would still be in the Land of OZ.
Since the Academy won’t recognize the Animal Kingdom for its contribution to the film industry, we prepared a list of famous film and TV animals.
So please put your paws together for …
Spike better known as Old Yeller If ever there was pooch who stole a movie and movie-goers’ hearts too, it was Spike. A yellow Labrador, Spike played the title in the 1957 classic “Old Yeller”. Spike was a rescue dog who besides starring “Old Yeller”, he played the top dog in “The She-Creature” and “The Silent Call.”
Terry better known as Toto – While there really is “no place like home”; Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz” would have been extremely homesick without her Toto aptly played by a terrier named Terry. Singled out for stardom, Terry worked alongside Shirley Temple in “Bright Eyes” and with Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamar in “Tortilla Flat”.
Pal better known as Lassie – Pal, a beautiful collie, played the title of Lassie in “Lassie Comes Home”. Pal share the screen with up and coming child actors Roddy McDowell and Elizabeth Taylor. A very self-disciplined actor who took his work seriously, Pal was known throughout Hollywood as a one-take wonder. After a successful silver screen career, Pal took on the small screen and became a TV actor playing Lassie from 1954 to 1973.
Rin-Tin-Tin – Rescued from war-ravaged France shortly after World War One, The first Rin-Tin-Tin was a handsome German Sheppard whose first few Hollywood roles included playing wolves. During the Roaring ‘20’s and into the Great Depression of the ‘30’s Rin-Tin-Tin became huge movie star. A real working dog Rinty, as his fans loved to call him, had his own radio show in 1930. So beloved and famous was the first Rin-Tin-Tin that he now has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Higgins better known as Benji – Higgins is the Kevin Bacon of animal actors because he starred in so many movies that practically anyone who is any one in Hollywood has worked with him (or knows someone who has worked him). Aside from playing Benji in the movie with the same name, Higgins was a regular on the hit show “Petticoat Junction” where he played a pooch named Dog. Rescued from an animal shelter, Higgins was a quick study who could do over a hundred tricks. A serious thespian, Higgins could act bored, afraid or angry on cue.
Moose better known as Eddie – With just six months of training, Moose earned the coveted role of Eddie on the hit TV show “Frasier”. Moose’s ability to give Kelsey Grammar – the show’s human star – a menacing stare was so popular that it became a running gag on the popular comedy.
Orangey better known as Cat – A red tabby who not only stole Audrey Hepburn’s heart in the 1961 romantic comedy “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, Orangey also stole the hearts of a generation of moviegoers too. A hard-worker, Orangey left film to become a television actor; her most popular TV role was playing Minerva in “Our Miss Brooks.”
Do you think the Academy should award animal actors with an OSCAR?
(Let us know in the comments section).