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Uggie, the dog that starred in the Oscar-winning The Artist back in 2012, has died at the ripe old age of 13. The pooch is believed to have been battling a prostate tumor for some time, and the decision was made for him to be euthanized in Los Angeles on August 7, 2015.

TMZ learned of Uggie’s death on Tuesday, revealing that his owner, Omar Von Muller, made the difficult decision because he had been struggling with the tumor over the last few weeks. Tributes have since been pouring in for Uggie, with The Artist’s Sarah Clifford remarking that he was “a perfect little terrier,” who didn’t let his fame get to him and still had boundless energy.

Born in California on February 14, 2002, Uggie had a true rags to riches story. After being rejected by his first two owners, who insisted that he was too wild, Uggie found the perfect home with Von Muller, an animal trainer. Recognising the raw potential in the pooch, Von Muller at first only intended to foster Uggie.

Uggie soon won Von Muller over, thanks to his crazy energy and his lack of fear. Aged just 3, Uggie soon started appearing in a number of Hollywood productions, climbing his way up the ladder in What’s Up Scarlett, Wassup Rockers, and Mr. Fix It. But he was always destined for bigger and better things, and these finally came his way with Water For Elephants, the 2011 romantic drama that saw him star as Queenie opposite Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. 



Despite establishing himself Hollywood debut, Uggie was far from finished. In fact, he’d only just begun. That same year he filmed his role in The Artist, a silent movie from French director Michel Hazanavicius, which went on to win Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, at the 84th Academy Awards.

Uggie genuinely stole the show as Jack the dog, providing heart and humor, and building up a rapport with leading man Dujardin. Uggie even did most of his own stunts, though he had help from two canine comrades, and there was a huge campaign for Uggie to be considered for his own Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, that never manifested, but that didn’t take away from his sterling work in the modern silent movie. 



But don’t go thinking that Uggie didn’t receive enough acclaim in his career, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only did he pick up the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, but he also shot a photospread for The Hollywood Reporter, won a Golden Collar, and even placed his paw prints in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

He signed off his career with appearances in Mike Mills’ Beginners and 2012’s The Campaign, before he went into a well-deserved retirement. Uggie is survived by Omar Von Muller, Von Muller’s wife and 6-year-old daughter, as well as the five other canines who he shared their home with. 

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