by Diane Blankenburg
Growing up in San Diego, both of my parents worked and I was often home alone after school. I frequently watched the Bob Dale movie show to pass the time and keep me company. He presented the best of the movies, and on commercial breaks he passionately discussed behind-the-scenes film making. I quickly became enthralled by the industry and mesmerized by the movies.
One of my all-time favorite films was (and still is) Old Yeller. There isn’t a movie where I cry more, and I was forever affected by the loving bond that existed between young Travis and the stray yellow lab he named Old Yeller. I’m quite sure this launched another true love of mine—animals, especially dogs, especially labs, and especially rescues.
As this Sunday approaches and brings with it the 85th Academy Awards presentation, I couldn’t be more excited. But it made me stop and reflect on other great animal movies and the animal actors that made them successful. There has been debate over the years on whether animals should receive Oscars or not—the rules do not include them but they also don’t exclude them.
Here are some great animal actors that helped make great movies:
– Terry, the Cairn terrier, who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz (1939), which received six nominations and two Oscars.
– Orangey, the red tabby cat, who played Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which received five nominations and two Oscars.
– The 48 Yorkshire pigs that played Babe in Babe (1995), which received seven nominations and one Oscar.
– The horse named Popcorn Deelites who played Seabiscuit in Seabiscuit (2003), which received no Oscars even though it had seven nominations.
– Uggie, a rescued Jack-Russell terrier, who played in The Artist, which won five Oscars last year, including Best Picture.
Oscars or not, animal actors will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I work surrounded by animals and live with big, loveable labs, I never get tired of watching movies, especially animal movies. So this Sunday, I will curl up on my couch with my three star dogs (Beaumont, Beignet, and Boomer) to celebrate my two favorite pastimes. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
Events that Help Animals
Doggie Palooza March 9, 10 am to 6:30 pm, at the Nevada Humane Society shelter. Dog Marketplace, cool dogs available for adoption, and celebrity guests. Admission is free. Shelter located at 2825 Longley Lane, between Rock Blvd. and Mira Loma Dr.