'The Artist's' Uggie to retire at 10; that's 50-plus in dog years
Uggie the dog, the faithful on-screen companion of Jean Dujardin in the silent-movie "The Artist," is set to hang up his collar and retire. Which means that next month's Academy Awards will probably be the last public appearance by one of the year's biggest movie stars.
Uggie's trainer, Omar Von Muller, told Life & Style magazine, "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's getting tired."
Last year was the biggest of Uggie's on-screen career, with high-profile roles in "Water for Elephants" and the Oscar-nominated "The Artist." When the "The Artist" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Uggie was awarded the Palm Dog (a play on the Palm d'Or) for best performance by a canine in a film at the fest. However, despite calls for a special Oscar category to be created for Uggie, the academy hasn't been as open to honoring animal performances.
Besides the Oscars, Uggie has one more big outing in February, and that's to the Golden Collar Awards, where he's a double nominee as best dog in a theatrical film for "The Artist" and "Water for Elephants."
Uggie, who is 10 (that's his mid-50s in dog years), is poised to lead a relaxing life in retirement, but he's not leaving the Hollywood community in the lurch. Uggie's trainer has the dog's brother, Dash, ready to go. According to Von Muller, Dash has already been working as Uggie's stand-in and should do just fine.
Moviegoers shouldn't worry -- this isn't like Dennis Quaid retiring and Randy Quaid taking his roles.
And for one more Uggie fix, watch our video from the Golden Globes red carpet below:
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Uggie the dog. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press