Five Oscar-Worthy Canine Performances!
With the 2017 Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, I have been thinking about one category that is missing from the festivities: Best Animal Actor. Animals with careers are becoming increasingly more common in our culture, from seeing-eye dogs to therapy animals to canine police officers, and it only seems right that they be rewarded as much as their human counterparts. For me, it is often the animal in a movie who produces the biggest laugh or the most tears. In honor of all of the talented animal actors, I made a list of five dogs who I think earned a stroll down the red carpet and an Oscar of their own.
1. Spike, from Old Yeller
Spike, a yellow Labrador Retriever/Mastiff mix, was featured in a number of movies in the 1950s, but is best known as Old Yeller. One of the most classic and well known animal movies of all time, Old Yeller stills brings a tear to the eye even 60 years after its release.
2. Rin Tin Tin
Rescued as a puppy from France during World War I, Rin Tin Tin embarked on a long and impressive film career. With an astounding 28 feature films over 9 years, Rin Tin Tin is credited with saving an almost bankrupt Warner Bros. Pictures. He is one of only 3 animal actors who has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
3. Abbey, from I Am Legend
While Abbey only has one feature film credit, this German Shepherd is a personal favorite of mine. In the zombie movie I Am Legend, she has easily the most emotional scene and manages to steal the spotlight from one of the biggest names in Hollywood, Will Smith.
4. Beasley, from Turner and Hooch
While Beasley received the main billing for the title role in the beloved 1989 Tom Hanks film, there were actually four dogs cast to play Hooch. Beasley shared the screen with three fellow Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiffs)- Barry, Vigor and Cristo.
5. Enzo, from My Dog Skip
This Parson Russell Terrier stole my heart as the faithful, ever friendly pet in My Dog Skip, but he is also a successful TV actor. As the son of Moose, who was the original Eddie Crane on the long-running series Frasier, Enzo took over the role when his father retired from show business. What a talented family!
This list was very difficult for me to whittle down and could have included so many more wonderful animal actors. Hopefully, as the number of non-human film stars continues to grow, more recognition of their accomplishments will follow.
Internal Medicine Assistant