Animals have been used in movies and television shows almost since the very beginning of moving pictures themselves. Our fascination with our furry friends was sure to cross into the big screen, and at times, these animal actors as they are more affectionately known, have been more recognizable than their human co-workers. And, let’s face it, we all have our favorite animal actors and animal-based movies. Here’s a list of some of the most famous animal actors ever to grace our screens, and their real names too:
Rin Tin Tin
One of the first and most popular animal actors was a Germanshepherd called Rin Tin Tin. During World War One, Rin Tin Tin was rescued by an American soldier, and came to be known as one of the most profitable stars in the early days of Hollywood. Rin Tin Tin appeared in twenty-seven movies before his death in 1932. After this, his descendants carried on his legacy and took over the name. He was at on stage so popular that he was voted ‘Best Actor’ at the Academy Awards, until judges stepped in to declare that the award could only be given to human actors. After his death, three radioshows aired with him as the main character.
On a more aquatic note, everyone loved the movie Flipper. But did you know that Flipper was originally a television series that aired from 1964 to 1967? The animal actor who played the role of the male dolphin Flipper, was actually a female dolphin called Suzie. Five other female dolphins also reprised the role at various times, as female dolphins were considered to be less aggressive and easier to train.
If you were a fan of the televisions show Friends in the nineties, as most of the world were at the time, then you will remember Marcel. Marcel was Ross’s mischievous pet monkey for only one season of the show. The male character was actually played by a capuchin monkey called Katie. This role was also shared by another monkey with the very original name of Monkey.
One of the most beloved and remembered childhood movies of the nineties, Babe was an instant hit with all the kids. But what most fans will not know, is that the famous character was played by not one, not two, but in fact forty-eight different pigs. This was due to the fact that pigs grow very quickly, so for the six weeks it took to shoot the movie, six pigs at a time would be used to portray the curious sheepherder.
There are many more famous animal actors that are not mentioned here. It seems that in the years since the birth of cinema, our love of animals has not been sated. And there are plenty more decades of cute, furry friends to come. So, who is your favorite animal actor? Do you think that animals should be allowed to win Academy Awards?