If you believe the tabloids, Hollywood is full of nothing but ego maniacs, serial cheaters, and out-of-touch snobs. It’s impossible to know if our $18 movie ticket or album purchase is lining the pockets of a quality character or not — unless you turn to the dogs.
They say dogs are the best judge of character, and that’s probably still true for lucky canines that get the chance to walk the red carpet. To these celebrities and iconic figures from history, dogs weren’t simply life’s background extras. They were co-stars.
1. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart: They were both dog people before they met, and this shared passion made for a very happy marriage. Their dog Harvey acted as a mediator during disagreements — he sat between them until they made up!
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2. Reese Witherspoon: She’s best friends with her blue-eyed bulldog named Lou, often taking to social media to chronicle his adventures. He loves eating shoes and sharing a morning cup of coffee.
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3. Clark Gable: His Irish setter, Queen, frequently hung out on set with the movie star, which made the Metro-Goldwyn Mayer studios his second home. She was also a hunting companion.
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4. Oprah: Despite raising over 20 pups in her lifetime, none were quite so special as her dog Sophie. She cited the Cocker Spaniel as one of her “greatest teachers.” “Over the years, I have felt the truest, purest love,” she said, “is the love that comes from your dog.”
5. Andy Warhol: He hardly did anything without his adorable dachshund, Archie, in his arms — he even brought the pup to Studio 54 with him! They were rumored to have similar personalities, and tended to stare openly at people.
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6. Elizabeth Taylor: Known for her many husbands, she also had quite a few dogs in her lifetime. Pictured here with her Cocker Spaniels when she was just 17, she named one of them Amy after her character in Little Women.
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7. Carrie Fisher: Inseparable from her French Bulldog named Gary, the late actress cited the pooch as an invaluable support system for her, especially during her struggles with mental health issues.
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8. George Foreman: The former Heavyweight Champ always travelled with his German Shepard, Dago. Here they are in 1972 while Foreman took questions from the press while en route to fight Muhammad Ali.
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9. Lady Gaga: After performing on stage for hundreds of thousands of people, Lady Gaga is most comfortable at home with her dogs. She has three French bulldogs named Koji, Gustavo, and Asia.
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10. Tom Hardy: The actor loves his pit bull Zora so much that she was his date to the premiere of his movie The Drop! As you can see, he isn’t afraid to get up close and personal with his dog.
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11. Billie Holiday: She and her dog Mister were rarely ever apart — he even waited backstage for her! She used to knit him sweaters and reportedly even purchased him a mink coat!
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12. Queen Elizabeth: There is perhaps no one more well-known for her love of dogs than the queen. She has owned over 30 corgis in her lifetime. Here she is pictured with one of her corgis in March of 1953.
13. Michael Phelps: He often uses his dogs for emotional support, as he struggled with mental health throughout his career. Without his dogs, the record-setting Olympic swimmer could be a very different place.
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14. Katy Perry: She hardly leaves the house without her micro teacup poodle named Nugget. He seems to have aspirations of fame just like his owner, as he was recently the star of a Citi Bank commercial.
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15. Hellen Keller: For the renowned teacher and author, canines were much more than just pets. Deaf and blind, she relied on her seeing eye dogs to help her with daily tasks.
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16. Ariana Grande: The pop star hardly posts a picture on social media that doesn’t feature her beloved dog, Toulouse. A beagle-chihuahua mix she rescued from a shelter in 2013, he and she have been pretty much inseparable ever since. She loves making her pooch famous.
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Some dogs, however, are the ones with all the star power. In the 1989 film Turner and Hooch, Tom Hanks’ character inherits his friend’s slobbering pooch, who helps him solve a crime. Hooch, Hank’s four-legged sidekick, was one of the most ancient French breeds of dog called Dogue de Bordeaux.
2. The Shaggy Dog: Robert Downey Jr. starred alongside a big shaggy four-legged buddy in this family comedy. Although throughout the movie the dog is referred to as a sheepdog, he was actually a Bearded Collie.
3. Beverly Hills Chihuahua: Jamie Lee Curtis and the rest of the crew on this movie rescued Papi, the leading Chihuahua, one day before he was supposed to be put down. He went from zero to hero overnight!
4. The Artist: Uggie the Parsons Russell terrier took the film world by storm starring in this black and white celebration of the early film era. Some actually say that it was Uggie’s performance that helped the film win its Oscar.
5. Lassie: This was the film debut for A-Lister Michelle Williams. She was lucky her first deep dive into cinema came with an adorable Collie as her co-star.
6. Cats and Dogs: There were plenty of animals who starred alongside quirky actor Jeff Goldblum in this film, but only one of them had another Hollywood credit. Prada, the Beagle who played Lou, was also in Star Trek: Enterprise.
7. A Dog’s Purpose: Controversy surrounded this film that starred Dennis Quaid when footage leaked that supposedly showed a panicked dog being forcibly dunked into water. However, the footage was doctored, and Quaid and the rest of the actors enjoyed their time with the Hollywood pooches.
8. Snow Dogs: This was an overly-cheesy movie starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., but the Huskies used were gorgeous. Many of the dogs actually went on to star in their next feature film, Eight Below, four years later.
9. White Fang: A young Ethan Hawke acted alongside an actual wolf-dog hybrid in this Jack London tale about interspecies friendship. The animal’s actual name was Jed, and fans of horror films might also recognize him as the dog from John Carpenter’s The Thing.
10. Dunston Checks In:Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander got to hang out with an orangutan while filming this movie. Despite the hilarious antics the two got into, the movie wasn’t well-received by audiences.
11. Larger Than Life:Saturday Night Live alumnus Bill Murray took advantage of the unique opportunity to meet an elephant during this movie. The two got along great, but then again how could you not want to spend time with a legend like Murray?
12. Bringing Up Baby: Katherine Hepburn was apparently fearless when it came to hanging around Nissa, the leopard who played Baby in this film. Cary Grant, however, was less thrilled by the animal’s presence and a double was used whenever he and the leopard had to make contact.
13. Ed: According to Matt LeBlanc, Ed the baseball-playing chimpanzee was actually just a guy wearing a suit with a mechanically-controlled head. The electronic head was so loud that every scene with the chimp needed to be re-dubbed.
14. Babe: Believe it or not, James Cromwell was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the farmer in this movie. Incredibly, 48 different pigs were used throughout filming due to the fact that baby pigs grow so quickly.
15. Every Which Way But Loose: Clint Eastwood and Manis the Orangutan were the leading gents in this film. The actor said this about his primate costar: “One of the most natural actors I ever worked with! But you had to get him on the first take because his boredom level was very limited.”
16. Mouse Hunt: Although some of the scenes used computer animation for the mouse who wreaks havoc on Nathan Lane’s character’s life, a rat was used as a body double during close-up shots of the mouse in the walls.
17. The Freshman: Matthew Broderick had to handle a komodo dragon for this role. Unlike dogs or cats, training reptiles is far from easy, so Broderick really just grabbed the animal when he needed to for scenes.
18. Project X: Matthew Broderick (again) got to share the silver screen with animals, and this time they were chimpanzees. The cast of chimps was well-trained and enjoyed working, but all of the chimp sounds in the movie were dubbed over with human vocals.
19. Call of the Wild: This movie based on Jack London’s novel and starring Charlton Heston wasn’t well-liked by the leading actor. He described the crew as having “no filmmaking talent whatsoever.” At least he got to hang out with an awesome dog the whole time.
20. Ghost Cat: This family movie starring Ellen Page was about a young girl and her father who moveed into a house haunted by its previous owner and her cat. It was difficult to deliver real scares with a cat so cute and cuddly.