The Most Famous Animal Actors
Moose, the Parson Russell Terrier, captured our hearts and minds of the general public as ‘Eddie’ on the popular sitcom Frasier. Born on Christmas Eve in 1990, Moose was actually handed over to Birds and Animals Unlimited (an animal-centric entertainment agency) by his original owners.
When it comes to iconic movie animals, few can stand as tall as Roy Rogers’ Golden Palomino stallion, Trigger. Roy Rogers was a prolific actor in his own right, earning over 117 acting credits to his name from the ‘30’s and onward. And Trigger, his prized horse, shared the spotlight in many of his cowboy crusades.
The horse earned over 90 acting credits beginning in 1938 through to his final appearance on the popular, ‘60s era TV series The Hollywood Palace, earning a reputation for being the smartest horse in the movies. Trigger typified the ideal cowboy horse and, according to Roy Rogers, the Palomino could, “…turn on a dime and give you some change.”
Keiko, a seven-tonne male Orca, made a splash in his leading role as Willy in the blockbuster tear-jerker Free Willy (1993). The movie is a harrowing tale of a child who risks it all to free the charming killer whale from, what amounts to the aquatic version of death row. If you were a child (or parent) in the ‘90s, then you probably remember one scene in particular.
Inspired by the film’s plot, the whale’s minders opted to free Keiko from the burden of celebrity, releasing him back in to the wild. Sadly, this story wasn’t as cinematic. Keiko failed to adapt to his new-found freedom and died shortly after being released.