Have you ever wondered what ever happened to all those cute, cuddly Hollywood animals once their show ended or their movie ran out of profitable sequels? Well, if you have then not only are you possibly deranged but you’re in luck because we wondered too. Who lived out their days in splendor, sniffing only the finest of asses? Who found himself a victim of his own vile excesses? Who was beaten to death with a cane? Well, it’s all right here folks. Yes, because we are the keepers of truth, the curators of great and important knowledge, we at Guyism bring to you the fates of 8 famous Hollywood animals.
Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.
Real Name: Pal
There have been many, many Lassies, all descended from the original beast, but who cares about them, they are merely pale copies of the dog known to his friends and loved ones as Pal, the OG of Lassies. Well, by the time the Lassie movies were spun off into the TV show, Pal had become old and thus began his golden years, spent living in a quasi-creepy relationship with his trainer. Seriously, from everything I have read it sounds like the trainer and the dog were only a half-step away from getting married in some weird ceremony in Tijuana. Sadly for Pal – and for his beloved trainer – those all too quick dog years soon caught up with him, and deaf and blind, Pal shuffled off this mortal coil. His trainer apparently took the news extremely hard and, according to his son, slipped into a savage depression and refused to watch a Lassie film for the rest of his days. Truly, one of the great tragic Hollywood romances of all time.
Photo credit: YouTube/CBS
Real Name: Bamboo Harvester
The death of Mr. Ed – aka Bamboo Harvester – is shrouded in intrigue. Most people believe that the horse died in 1978, but in reality that more publicized death was a second horse, used for publicity shots. The actual Mr. Ed died in 1970, fairly anonymously with no publicity surrounding it. The official story is that he was euthanized after suffering from a variety of ailments, including kidney problems and arthritis but according to his co-star, Alan Young, who had remained close to his faithful steed, the horse was actually a victim of manslaughter (horseslaughter?) Dun dun dun! Indeed. According to Young, a temporary caregiver who was looking after the horse while his trainer was out of town found the poor beast lying on the ground and, thinking he was in distress, gave ol’ Ed a tranquilizer which apparently killed him. So, either Mr. Ed was put-down by a horse Kevorkian or he died of a drug overdose. Either way, I think we can all agree that a talking horse deserved better.
Photo credit: YouTube/CBS
Real Name: Gidget
You remember this little bastard, right? Voiced by Carlos Alazraqui aka Garcia from Reno 911, little Gidget became either a pop-culture phenomenon or a pop-culture annoyance, depending on your perspective. Eventually, the campaign ran its course (thanks in large part to Latino groups who claimed the dog was a racist stereotype because hey, that’s the world we live in) and poor Gidget was forced to scrape by for work just like every other has-been whose fifteen minutes of fame are up, showing up in small roles in movies like Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (oh, the indignity!) Sure, that shit’s good enough for a mongrel like Reese Witherspoon but not a princess like Gidget, and so Gidget drifted off into retirement, finally suffering a stroke in 2009. Live by the Taco Bell, die by the Taco Bell, I guess. She was then euthanized. I would make a joke about her remains then being sold back to Taco Bell and turned into taco meat but that would be in bad taste (much like the majority of Taco Bell’s menu) and so let’s just say that she was cremated and move on, okay?
Photo credit: YouTube/Taco Bell
Real Name: Rin Tin Tin
The story of Rin Tin Tin is vaguely ridiculous and is a reminder that the world used to be a simpler place, one in which people were really, really weird. It started off on the battlefields of World War I, where a shell-shocked puppy was found by a soldier, who named him Rin Tin Tin and brought him back home to the U.S. From there, the dog found himself caught up in the American Dream and became a movie star. Okay, nothing too crazy yet. But then ol’ Rin found himself unable to fight the ravages of age and reportedly died in the arms of movie star Jean Harlow. His death was then breathlessly reported via a special news bulletin via radio, in which programs across the country were interrupted, like he was the President or something. What followed was a national day of mourning during which an hour long program devoted solely to Rin Tin Tin was hastily thrown together and played for the country. I mean, yeah, it’s sad whenever a pet dies but it sounds like the country was stricken with some sort of mass hysteria.
After it was all over, Rin Tin Tin’s remains were transported back to France, the place of his birth, and buried in Cimetière des Chiens, the renowned Parisian pet cemetery. Yes, there apparently is such a thing as a “renowned Parisian pet cemetery.” I’m just glad we were able to overcome such a national tragedy without spinning into chaos and despair. Then again, World War II began less than a decade later. I’m not saying the two events are directly related but then again, I’m not saying they’re not.
Photo credit: YouTube/ABC
Real Name: Honey Tree Evil Eye
Oh man! What a name! Honey Tree Evil Eye. I just wanted to take a moment to point that out so we could all let it sink in. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about poor Spuds’ demise. After a life of debauchery and sin, spent hawking beer and frolicking with half-naked women and riding skateboards without a helmet, Honey Tree Evil Eye (I just wanted the chance to say it again.) died at the age of ten of kidney failure. Naturally. Look, you can’t just live a life of drunken excess without expecting some consequences. At least it wasn’t liver failure. But what the hell, at least the beast lived life to the fullest, which is more than most of us can say and for that Honey Tree Evil Eye should be commended. Did I mention the dog’s name was Honey Tree Evil Eye? Because it totally is.
Photo credit: YouTube/Budweiser
Real Name: Keiko
The story of Keiko, the whale from Free Willy, is a sad and sordid tale. Well, actually, it’s more pathetic than sordid. Keiko was basically raised in captivity, captured in Iceland at the age of three and then sold to a variety of amusement parks, each of whom treated him poorly. The poor beast developed skin lesions and by the time he was found by the producers of Free Willy he was living in a cramped tank in Mexico like some sort of strung out prostitute. They saved him from that horrible fate and Keiko became a movie star. Naturally, because his life basically sucked, he became a cause célèbre. Activists became enraged that Keiko was not immediately given his freedom, conveniently ignoring the fact that he had lived his whole life in captivity and had no survival skills of his own. So instead of living out his life in luxury, eating fish by the bucketful and being jacked off by helpful animal trainers as befitted a whale of his stature and fame, millions of dollars were spent so that Keiko could be freed. Naturally, Keiko spent the remainder of his life in fear, hugging coastlines all along the Atlantic, like a child with no social skills forced to live on his own for the first time, until he finally died of pneumonia in Taknes Bay, Norway. By the way, Keiko is Japanese for “Lucky One” which, uh… not so much.
Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.
Real Name: Manis
This one is sort of confusing. Clyde, the orangutan in the Clint Eastwood flicks Every Which Way But Loose and Every Which Way You Can, was actually played by two different orangutans. The original, Manis, was given his walking papers after he grew too much between the two films. He was sold back to a Las Vegas lounge act, just like most child stars who grow too much and aren’t cute anymore. His replacement, an unnamed orangutan – let’s just call him Clyde, had a much worse fate. Apparently, not only was Clyde sprayed with mace before filming so he’d be docile, he was beaten by his trainers. After the movie finished filming, Clyde was unruly and so one of his trainers reportedly beat him with an axe handle and a cane. Seriously, they beat his head in with a fucking axe handle. Amazingly, that wasn’t even illegal at the time. Naturally, poor Clyde suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died. I don’t even have a joke here. Honestly, I just feel sort of angry right now.
Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.
Real Name: Cathy
There were actually several dolphins who played Flipper but the main one was a dolphin named Cathy, and Cathy’s fate is just depressing. Because here’s the thing – Cathy committed suicide. That’s right, a dolphin committed suicide. Basically, back then nobody gave a shit about animals or animal welfare and so when they were creating Flipper, they just viciously captured a bunch of dolphins from the local bay and dragged them against their will to their new caged home. This is messed up, especially when you consider how smart we know dolphins are. Poor Cathy apparently never got over this indignity and so one day she just decided to stop breathing. Yeah, dolphins can do that. They can just decide to quit breathing. And so Cathy died of her own will in the arms of one of her trainers. Her life as Flipper was so horrible that she killed herself. She literally just decided to stop breathing. That’s some heavy shit right there, and a reminder that although these animals are cute and entertaining and all that jazz, they are still living creatures and they deserve better than to have their fate be decided by the whims of a few asshole humans with their asshole agendas. Suicide… good lord.
Photo credit: YouTube/NBC