Moment’s silence as Artist dog Uggie dies

UGGIE, the dog who shot to fame in 2011 Oscar-winning silent film The Artist, has died.

Uggie and his paw prints on the pavement in Hollywood. Picture: Getty Images
Uggie and his paw prints on the pavement in Hollywood. Picture: Getty Images

The Jack Russell was put down after suffering from a prostate tumour.

Like many Hollywood celebrities there was some doubt about his age, with an entertainment website saying he was 13 while one news agency reported that he was 12.

Uggie played Jean Dujardin’s dog in The Artist and also appeared with Robert Pattinson in 2011’s Water for Elephants.

The terrier “retired” in 2012 but went on to make sporadic television appearances.

Uggie’s owner and trainer Omar Von Muller wrote on Face­book: “We regret to inform to all our friends, family and ­Uggie’s fans that our beloved boy has passed away.

“Uggie had a cancerous ­tumour in the prostate and is now in a better place not feeling pain.”

The dog’s most recent credit was 2013 television movie Holiday Road Trip, in which he played a pet called Scoots.

Uggie won the tongue-in-cheek Palm Dog award for best canine actor at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and was the first dog to leave his paw prints on cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The organisers of the Palm Dog prize have paid tribute to the much-loved mutt, calling him “a special little Jack Russell who gave pleasure to millions”.

Uggie also published an autobiography, ghost-written by Wendy Holden.

Announcing Uggie’s retirement in 2012, his trainer told one US magazine he was hanging up his collar because he was “getting tired”.

“He may do a couple of little things here and there because he enjoys them, but I don’t want to put him through long hours anymore,” he said.

Among Uggie’s other career highlights was his 2012 triumph when he was named best dog in a theatrical film at the Golden Collar awards for his appearance in The Artist.

The Jack Russell beat competition from other dogs that appeared in Hugo, Beginners, 50/50 and Young Adult.

Mr Muller accepted the award with Uggie, whose performance in Water For Elephants also made the shortlist, at the Los ­Angeles ceremony.

The inaugural awards recognised canine excellence in Hollywood on both the big and small screens. Mr Von Muller said at the time that the award was “overwhelming” adding: “He has been my buddy forever and is a great performer and great family member.”

He also thanked award organ- isers saying: “This is very important for all the trainers in the movie industry, because we have never been recognised before, and people just don’t understand that it takes hundreds and even thousands of hours to train a dog.”