Celebrities Who Could Not Part With Their Adorable Animal Co-Stars
Everybody loves animals. And, fortunately for us, a rather humanizing aspect of this love is shared by actors — they are, after all, people too! So here, we catalog some of the most unforgettable relationships held between actors and their adorable animal co-stars. Prepare yourself for some heart meltage.
Elizabeth Taylor and her beloved horse
In 1944, Elizabeth Taylor starred alongside King Charles in the movie National Velvet. And, in case you didn’t watch that particular gem of a film, King Charles is the name of a gallant horse. The horse was so gallant and compelling, in fact, that Taylor felt the need to adopt him her into her home.
It’s rare for bonds between two species to form this strongly over the course of a film. However, with these two, the chemistry was there. What’s even more amazing about the adoption is that Elizabeth was only 11 years old when she adopted the horse. Happily ever after is what we’ll say for this duo.
Judy Garland and the fun, fun terrier
In The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland (she played Dorothy, duh) co-starred with her character’s pet terrier, named Toto in the film. The cute little pup helped to cheer her up in times of need. The dog also got sick on the set, which induced Garland to take the pup home to be nurtured. She wanted the dog for herself, and all could tell.
Unfortunately for Garland, she was not allowed to take the pup home. So while she wanted to keep the pup with everything in her being — alas, she was unable. But don’t worry, the pup didn’t face any immediate turmoil when disallowed from living with Garland. She went on to live a normal, happy pup life.
Will Smith and his German shepherd
Will Smith has an extraordinary ability to captivate on-screen. This was shown in full force in I Am Legend when he was made (spoiler alert) to strangle his beloved dog on-screen before it succumbed to zombie sickness. Fortunately for everyone, the dog didn’t actually die.
While Smith was not able to take the dog home with him, it wasn’t for a lack of want. The actual owners kept the dog in a happy home, and did not want to give him up when Smith implored. Either way, the dog stayed in a non-zombie state for all to enjoy. And for this, we are infinitely thankful.
Robert Redford and the lovely Let’s Merge
Robert Redford has starred in a great many films. One of these many choice films was The Electric Horseman. In this wonderful film, Redford stars alongside a horse — a horse by the odd name of “Let’s Merge.” Despite this slightly abnormal name, Redford decided that the horse was worthy of love.
And with all of this love, Redford then decided to adopt the horse into his ranch. Because of this, the horse would live along with the rest of Redford’s horses at his home. And this, as we might have expected, is one of the happier endings this horse ended up facing. Now, he lives happily on Redford’s ranch.
Jennifer Aniston and her cute dog
Marley & Me is a movie starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, and a handful of pups. While the film is notorious for being sad, the real-life ending of the film is not. Having grown so infatuated with the pups while filming, Aniston decided to adopt away. And adopt away she did.
Aniston ended up taking one of the dogs home and calling him her own. So rather than suffer whatever horrible fate the dog might have suffered in the movie (no spoilers here — you’re welcome), the doggo went on to live a happy and fulfilling life. This definitely makes us happy. It should make you happy, too.
Tom Hardy and his hardy pup
Tom Hardy is for sure a compelling movie star. Having starred in numerous films (sometimes playing both protagonists), he is by no means a novice to the big screen. But there’s another thing to which Hardy is no dilettante: owning and loving a pet. And here he shows that in full force with the pet he adopted from one of his films.
Rocco was the name of the pup in his 2014 film The Drop. But once the film did in fact drop, Hardy had to make the unenviable choice of choosing one of the pups that worked on the film. Given that several had played the role of his pup compatriot, Hardy had many choices to choose from. And choose he did. Now that pup has a happy home.
Kim Novak and her twisted little kitty
Kim Novak is an enchanting woman. And, as you would expect of any enchanting woman, she possesses an affinity for cats. And this affinity, also unsurprisingly, has carried over into her behavior on set. In her film Bell Book and Candle, for instance, she met a little kitty she could not live without.
The breed of cat that she had fallen in love with on set was a Siamese cat. Given her strong affinities, she decided that she wanted to keep the kitty, take her home, and introduce her to the others. This was surely a positive for the cat, given Novak’s lucrative career. She probably had excellent cat food.
James Gunn and his faithful raccoon
In the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, there stars a raccoon — Rocket — voiced by the inimitable Bradley Cooper. The raccoon has quite the attitude, making him one of the more lovable stars of the film. What most people don’t know, however, is that Rocket is based on an actual raccoon.
And what exactly happened with this raccoon? Well, the director of the film, James Gunn, decided to keep it all for himself, adopting the raccoon and giving it a good home. It’s always nice when a director decides to get so affectionately involved with their film — especially when it involves a cute raccoon.
Bill Murray and the equally cool elephant
Bill Murray is definitely one of our favorite actors. There is arguably no man on planet Earth that better embodies the ultimate cool. And this cool was made all the cooler when Murray developed a fun-loving relationship with one of the greatest mammalian beasts alive today — the African elephant.
Having co-starred with one in the movie Larger Than Life, Murray fell in love with his elephant co-star. This likely wasn’t hard to do, considering that the animal is one of the smartest mammals on the planet, able to perform complex problem-solving, and even to mourn the loss of other elephants. The empathy shared between the two is easy to see in the film. And for this, we give Murray several more cool points.
Reese Witherspoon and her Chihuahua
Reese Witherspoon is often called America’s Southern Sweetheart — and that’s a name that isn’t easily won. But with her easygoing attitude and affable demeanor, she also has a soft spot for dogs. And this was shown most clearly after the filming of Legally Blonde. Having played the “ditz” role, she had the tiny Chihuahua to match.
After the stretches spent on the set, however, she learned that she could not part ways with the pup. And so, she decided that she wanted to take it home with her. And take it home with her she did. The dog, Moonie, lived happily alongside Witherspoon and her other family before passing away in 2016. Other dogs were likely envious of his lavish doggy lifestyle.
Quvenzhané Wallis loves pups
In 2014, the movie Annie was made, starring Quvenzhané Wallis. And in the filming of this movie, the newly starring Annie developed a love for the dog on set. And, as we are all certainly aware by now, once you fall in love with a dog on set, you do not part ways — or at least you do not part ways easily. And so, Wallis did not settle with leaving the dog high and dry.
While Wallis did not ultimately end up taking the dog home, she did remain in touch. The two now hang out whenever they’re able. While this might not be all the time she would want to spend, it is enough to satiate her need for some pup-loving. Maybe one day they’ll reunite for good. When that moment comes, we’ll let you know.
Viggo Mortensen at the stables
Viggo Mortensen has a proclivity to play a lot of rugged characters. We know him as the intrepid ranger from The Lord of the Rings, the embattled rider of Hidalgo, and even the surreptitious gangster of A History of Violence. However, beneath this rugged demeanor lies a man with much love. And this love shows in some of the animals he has adopted.
During both his adventures in The Lord of the Rings and Hidalgo, Mortensen developed an affinity for the horses he met on set. And, after having filmed these movies, he just couldn’t bear to part ways. So, he did what any of us do once besotted by the love of an animal: He adopted them into his home. Now the two live in his stables among his other lucky pets.
Robert Downey Jr. can’t get enough doggos
Robert Downey Jr. is definitely an interesting character. And with this character, we wouldn’t necessarily assume “animal lover.” However, this is exactly who he happens to be. And this was shown in the loving connection he developed with Sunny, his co-animal-star in Due Date. The comedy, featuring Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, also featured a cute little Frenchie.
The Frenchie, having been excellently trained, had easily snuggled its way into Jr.’s heart. However, and this we can certainly understand, the trainer who owned the dog was unwilling to part ways with the pooch. And so, while he definitely did not want to part ways with his new animal friend, he had to. And for this, we say to Robert Downey: We are sorry and understand your pain.
Katharine Hepburn with a leopard?
Katharine Hepburn was a sterling character and well known in the acting community. And her reputation was definitely well-earned. What better way to congratulate a stunning actress than with the gift of a perfect animal co-star and compatriot? Honestly, we can’t think of one. But what makes the case of Katharine Hepburn especially cool is that her animal co-star was a little bit different.
The co-star that Hepburn shared the stage with was a leopard. Yes, a leopard. One of the most ferocious and beautiful cats in the animal kingdom, the pairing seemed fitting. And so, the two were put together in the film Bringing Up Baby. While the two did not end up living together like some of the other dyads on this list, their chemistry on the screen was undeniable.
Chris Evans and his new dog
Chris Evans has had a long and sinuous acting career. Starting out in starring roles for films that weren’t exactly blockbusters, he worked his way up the ranks to star in major features like Captain America and The Avengers. Along the way, he picked up some furry friends.
In the movie Gifted, Evans starred alongside a cute little pup. After the film was over, Evans was so besotted by the furry little friend that he decided to adopt it. Having a loving affection for such dogs, the pairing seemed right. Now the two live as one might expect — the bestest of friends.
Matt LeBlanc and man’s new best friend
Matt LeBlanc has endeared himself to us through his many projects on the screen. Mostly notably, we all know him from his years spent alongside Jennifer Aniston and the gang on Friends. However, in the movie Ed, his beloved co-star was, let’s just say, a little more … hairy. And this hairiness was the likes of a chimpanzee.
This wasn’t just any chimpanzee, however — it was a man in a suit pretending to be a chimpanzee. While this might disillusion you about some of the movie industry’s tricks and schemes, it by no means subtracts from the bond the two (humans) shared on the set. And while LeBlanc definitely did not take the chimp home (the man’s wife would not consent), we can still enjoy their fun on TV.
Sophie Turner and ‘Lady’ from ‘Game of Thrones’
Game of Thrones was one of those rare shows that took the nation by surprise. With its unexpected endings and plot points, the show had the world at its feet. One of the more compelling side plots of the show was the direwolves that the Starks were allowed when they were young.
Sansa — i.e., Sophie Turner — was given a wolf that would not last long in the show. However, unhappy with the fate of Lady in the show, Sophie decided to adopt the dog and keep her close to her heart at home. So, don’t get depressed at the horrible fate the dog faced on film — she got a happy home in real life, which we might say is better …
Michelle Williams and the greatest dog
Michelle Williams was young when she starred in the movie Lassie. And as you might expect of any co-star to the wonderful collie Lassie, Williams could not easily part ways. The two had developed quite the bond over their time filming. And, again, as you might have expected, this made it rather hard for them to go their separate ways once the film was finished.
Unfortunately for Williams, the two were not able to leave the set together. While they did get to share the memorable bonds of having starred in one of the most famous dog movies on the planet, the two were not able to live happily ever after and ride into the sunset. However, their time spent together will be forever memorialized in the film to which they both gave their time.
Clint Eastwood forms an unexpected friendship
Clint Eastwood is surely best known for his leading roles in Western films. Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, some of Eastwood’s animal co-stars did in fact feel lucky. And one of these animals was the unexpected and charismatic orangutan. Unlikely as a co-star for the cowboy eternal, the orangutan and Eastwood formed an ineffable bond while on set. And this was clear to all who saw the film.
The movie, entitled Every Which Way but Loose, showed the two engaged in all sorts of antics. And while the chemistry between them was very real, it wouldn’t exactly be ethical for Eastwood to take the higher-order primate home. And so, upon the closing of the film, the two parted ways and went on to live their separate lives. We will remember the moments they shared, however.
Jamie Lee Curtis with the ultimate Chihuahua
Jamie Lee Curtis is an outstanding veteran in the movie community. Having starred alongside everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Lindsay Lohan, she has etched herself a permanent spot in moviegoers’ history. And for this, we shall remember her. But one of her lesser-known films has done a little etching of its own. This movie was Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
In the film, Curtis stars alongside a Chihuahua. And, fittingly, the two had been filmed walking up and down the streets of Beverly Hills. But during their time filming, the two developed a strong chemistry that would not lend itself to an easy parting. And because of that, Curtis did not feel right letting the dog depart without her. Now the two live happily in Curtis’ home.
James Cromwell and the pig of his dreams
James Cromwell is an intrepid actor in the world of film. And through his acting career trajectory he has made many different friends. Some of these friends, as you might have expected, have been of the animal persuasion. And this is exactly what happened during his filming of the movie Babe. Here, he starred alongside a pig.
And this pig was not just any pig. Having been excellently trained, Cromwell fell in love. And thus, he decided that he did not want to part ways with the animal once the two had stopped filming. However, the two did not leave together. We understand why this might make anyone with a love for hogs just a little sad. However, the pigs for sure had a good time filming.
Ethan Hawke and the wolf-dog hybrid
Ethan Hawke has made his rounds in the movie-making world. Having starred in odd films like Gattaca and more family-friendly movies like Blade, he has made quite the impact on the world of cinema. But no role would be more fitting for this pet-forward piece than his role in the movie White Fang. In this movie, Hawke starred alongside a wolf-dog hybrid.
We might say that this is just a little badass. But beyond that, it was clear that the two developed a fun relationship that would endure for as long as it could. And endure it did — all through the filming the two enjoyed shared scenes of love and affection. We are quite envious of Hawke’s luck having starred next to a wolf-dog. It’s pretty cool.
Uggie the dog and his good pals
Some animal stars get to keep the fame all for themselves — taking the glory from the actors that might stand by their side. This might be said of the movie Lassie, for instance, where the most memorable moments of the movie surround the dog and not the actors that stood beside her. The same can be said of Uggie, one of the most pleasant dogs on the planet.
Uggie is a name that doesn’t necessarily allude to the actual cuteness of the dog. In the movie The Artist, this was particularly clear. Having delivered such a wonderful performance, the dog helped the actors and those involved to get nominated to win an Oscar. But not only was it nominated — the movie won! And we can say much of this is due to Uggie’s indomitable cuteness.
Charlton Heston needs dog love too
Charlton Heston is a rugged character. Yet in the 1972 film The Call of the Wild, we saw a little bit of the man’s soft side. This side was seen most clearly when he shared the set with his animal co-star dog. The two clearly got along. Interestingly, they appeared to get along better than everyone else on the set. And to this we say, “Yikes.”
Apparently Heston thought that the crew and fellow actors harbored very little talent. Perhaps we can chalk this up to famous actors and an overblown sense of faith in their own abilities. Either way, the relationship between him and the dog is something we don’t have to frown upon. It’s hard for egos to get in the way when there’s a cute pooch there to soothe your exposed nerves.
Dennis Quaid and his faithful pup
Dennis Quaid is definitely a man we could see owning a pup. In fact, he looks like somebody who might own quite a few. And this interesting and understandable proclivity is something we saw unfold full force in the movie A Dog’s Purpose. Here, we see the man bonding with a bulldog over freshly served scenes of love and affection. Truly a man’s best friend.
However, Quaid did not end up bringing home any dogs from A Dog’s Purpose. We might attribute this to the fact that he likely already has his home filled with the lovely canine species. And because of this, he likely didn’t have room to allow for any more adorable furry animals. But despite this fact, we get to see the pups whenever we want — all we have to do is watch the film.
Tom Hanks needs more than Wilson
Tom Hanks is one of America’s best-known actors. Having starred in blockbusters like Cast Away and The Terminal, he has become well known in the acting community as a Goliath of film. Yet, with this sterling reputation, he still maintains a normal human affinity — an affinity for dogs. This we see mostly clearly in his filming of The ’Burbs.
In The ’Burbs, a so-called “dark comedy,” Hanks starred alongside a large and slobbering mastiff. And with this dog, Hanks could not part ways. The chemistry they shared on-screen was something real — real enough for him to want to take the dog home with him. We hope the two might live happily ever after. They likely will.
Brendan Fraser and his beloved horse
Ever since his glory days during the filming of The Mummy and George of the Jungle, Brendan Fraser has taken something of a hiatus from film. Because of this, he hasn’t really graced our eyes with his fun-loving personality. Fortunately, a relatively recent Fraser film has featured the man bonding with a real cutie.
That cutie was a horse. And, like we read about with Viggo earlier, this relationship was enough to induce Fraser to want to take the horse home with him. The two live happily now on Brendan’s ranch. He feeds the guy little carrots and other veggies that he probably thinks taste good. He’s living the good life.
Tiffany Haddish and her many cats
Some people are self-described “cat ladies.” Others are stricken with that name as some type of curse. Tiffany Haddish, however, lies somewhere in between. In the movie Keanu, for instance, where she starred alongside a feline friend, one of the lucky kittens got to go home with her. For good.
While several cats had taken on the role of the leading cat, only one of them had earned enough points with Haddish to neatly attach herself to the actress’s heart. And with this, the cat earned a new home in one of the houses of a successful actress. The other cats were certainly jealous.
Ewan McGregor and his new pup
Ewan MGregor has become known for a great deal of films, having starred in a diverse arrangement, including such gems as the Star Wars prequels, The Island, and even the luridly revealing Trainspotting. Despite this reputation, however, McGregor has something we can all relate to.
This something is an affinity for dogs. Given this predilection, after having starred in the movie Beginners, McGregor was induced to meet and fall in love with Cosmo, his furry co-star. Unfortunately for McGregor, his wife is allergic to dogs. And so, the two would have to part ways after the filming was done. Very sad.
Ed O’Neill also loves dogs
Ed O’Neill is probably best known for his role in Married… with Children. However, he is also known for his love of dogs. And this was shown most clearly in the more modern show in which he takes part — Modern Family. In this show, his love of dogs is apparent to everyone involved.
The trainer of the bulldog O’Neill owns in the show, for instance, had noted the two playing for hours in between takes. This just goes to show that while you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, you might at least get it to play for a few hours with Ed O’Neill. What a glorious life.