There’s a small group of movie stars who, while largely responsible for the success of their productions, don’t get as much recognition as they deserve: animal actors. Throughout the history of cinema, many animal actors have always held a special place in the hearts of the public, such as Katie, the white-headed nasturtium who played little Marcel from Ross in Friendsor Keiko, the male whale who, due to his role in Save Willybecame the first captive orca to be fully relaxed back in the ocean.
Of all the animals that have participated in film productions, canine actors are especially popular and loved by the audience. This is largely due to the close bond humans have with them as pets and companions, as they are part of millions of families and keep us company in our daily lives. If a movie features a dog actor in its cast, it will definitely resonate deeply with many viewers. However, the reality is that, for animals, filming is far more exhausting than it is for humans, and the entertainment industry hasn’t always considered their needs on movie sets. Fortunately, and thanks to the efforts of many actors, this situation has completely changed, and currently the cruelty free american is responsible for supervising each production featuring animal actors to ensure that their rights are guaranteed. Filming with animals is quite different from filming only with people, and it usually takes a lot more time and patience, but it’s definitely worth it, both for the sake of the animals and for the production itself. Here’s a look at some of the best dog actors in movies.
ten Milo – The mask
In the 1994 movie The mask, Jack Russell Terrier Max plays Milo, the pet of Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey). Milo is friendly and very loyal to his owner, trying to help him whenever he can, whether it’s breaking him out of jail or fighting off bad guys using the mask. Although Max was involved in a few minor productions, The mask was his one and only major Hollywood hit since, according to his owner, he was considered either too big or too small for most roles.
9 Hooch – Turner & Hooch
Beasley the Dog co-starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1989 comedy film Buddy cop Turner & Hooch. This dog, a Dogue de Bordeaux, was trained by its owner, Clint Rowe, who also makes a small appearance in the film. Besides Beasley, there were two other dogs of the same breed featured in the film as stunt performers. Turner & Hooch was the only film featuring Beasley, who sadly passed away in 1992.
8 Sarii — prey
Coco is Sarii, Naru’s (Amber Midthunder) companion dog in Preythe fifth installment of Predator franchise. Coco’s true story is touching: she was adopted from a shelter especially for the film. With no prior training, let alone experience in the film industry, it took a lot of time and patience to get his shots right. However, director Dan Trachtenberg was so charmed by the rambunctious dog actor that he cast her in a much larger role than he had originally intended for her.
seven Hachiko — Hachi: The Story of a Dog
Hachi: the story of a dogthe American adaptation of the Japanese production Hachiko Monogatari, is inspired by the true story of Hachicko, a very loyal dog who waited for his owner for years after the death of the man. The Richard Gere-starring film featured three Akita dog actors to bring Hachi to life: Chico, Forrest, and Layla. While Forrest was already part of a family at the time of filming, Chico and Layla ended up being adopted by their trainers, Mark Harden and David Allsberry.
6 Friend — Air Bud
air bud is a film franchise centered around a very gifted sporting Golden Retriever dog. This series, which spans five films and nine spin-offs, featured Buddy, who was found a stray dog by Kevin di Cicco, who later adopted him and taught him to play several sports, including basketball. -ball, which inspired the franchise. Sadly, Buddy passed away after the first film was released, so his role was eventually taken over by other Golden Retriever dogs in subsequent films.
5 Bruiser – Legally Blonde
Bruiser Woods is the faithful sidekick of elegant lawyer Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) in Revenge of a Blonde. The canine actor behind this adorable character is Moonie, a Chihuahua trained from an early age by her owner, Sue Chipperton, who also trained Gidget, a female Chihuahua known for her appearances in Taco Bell commercials. Besides its appearance in Revenge of a Blonde and its sequel, Moonie landed other lead roles, such as in the TV series Three sisters and Providence.
4 Toto – The Wizard of Oz
Terry is a female Cairn Terrier who appeared in over 20 films and gained notoriety for her role as Toto in the 1939 film. The Wizard of Oz. Terry was trained by his owner, Carl Spitz, and was paid a huge sum of money for his performance in the film starring Judy Garland, earning even more money than some of the cast actors. His last film role was in the film easy to watchas in 1945, at the age of 11, Terry died.
3 Frank – Men in Black
Frank the Pug is a character from the men in black franchise who, while looking like a regular dog, is actually an alien in disguise. The canine actor tasked with portraying this humorous character was Mushu, a pug trained by his real owner, Ted Brac. Mushu starred in the first two men in black films, in 1997 and 2002, but unfortunately died before the filming of the third opus. However, thanks to CGI, audiences got to meet Frank again in the 2019 film. Men in Black: International.
2 Beethoven — Beethoven
Chris is the St. Bernard dog featured in one of the most adorable movie series in history: Beethoven, spanning eight films and one TV series. Chris was raised by one of his trainers, Karl Lewis Miller, and only starred in the franchise’s first two films, Beethoven and 2nd of Beethoven, which also featured several St. Bernard dogs as Chris’ stunt performers. After filming the second episode, Chris retired to spend quality time with his family, and ultimately passed away.
1 Lassie – Lassie Comes Home
Lassie ranks at the top of this list as Hollywood’s most famous dog, so loyal and devoted that she would be the perfect pet for any dog lover. The canine actor responsible for portraying this character was Pal, an untrained Rough Collie who made his film debut in the 1943 film. Lassie comes home. After starring in several movies and TV series as Lassie, Pal retired and passed her role on to some of her descendants, who went on to portray the movie industry’s most revered collie.