13 Fun Facts About Salem the Cat, Marcel the Monkey, and Other TV and Movie Animals
Animals are one of the best parts of real life – so, it makes sense they are our favorite part about entertainment, too! A well-trained dog, adorable monkey, and purr-fectly cued cat makes a movie or tv show so much better.
After all, how would Sabrina get out of all those sticky situations in Sabrina the Teenage Witch without her cunning black cat, Salem? And, we just can’t imagine Legally Blonde without the precious Bruiser hanging out in a pink purse. Yes, animal actors and actresses are simply amazing (as are their patient and talented trainers!), which is why we did a little digging to learn more about our favorite famous dogs, cats, monkeys, and horses. Scroll through the slides ahead to discover fun facts about 10 cool movie and tv animals.
Marcel the Monkey from Friends
Remember Ross’s mischevious (and illegal!) black and white capuchin monkey Marcel on Friends? Turns out, Marcel is still alive and makes an appearance in the upcoming TV show, Y: The Last Man. The monkey, whose real name is Katie, is in her mid-20s, and she has acted and appeared in modeling shows since her days delighting fans on the set of the iconic ’90s sitcom.
Bruiser from Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon‘s adorable sidekick, Bruiser Woods, in the Legally Blonde movies is one of the cutest dogs on TV. Before Bruiser (whose real name is Mooney) passed away in 2016, he was known for his love of chicken, sleeping up to 23 hours a day, and hanging out with his best friend, Gidget, who starred as the Taco Bell dog in commercials in the early ’90s-’00s. In fact, Bruiser and Gidget even got to act together in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde!
Blue Jeans from Hannah Montana: The Movie
The pretty, gray American Quarter Horse that Miley Cyrus rides and takes care of in Hannah Montana: The Movie, was actually just a regular roping horse and family pet before he was discovered. Blue Jeans (AKA, Blue Steel Man), was spotted at a U.S. Team Roping Championships event near Nashville and eventually landed the role of a lifetime. Now, he is happy giving rides to his owner’s two young daughters.
Salem from Sabrina The Teenage Witch
Although for much of the series Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch was played by an animatronic puppet, there were several real black cats who would appear on set. Because of all the cat food, Melissa Joan Hart once admitted she wasn’t a huge fan of the felines, saying, “I’m a dog person.” Another fun fact? Salem was on every single episode of Sabrina. He’s one lucky cat!
Hedwig from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The friendly and talented Hedwig from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was played by 7 different white owls, according to Humane Hollywood. Gizmo had the biggest screen time, but some of Hedwig’s scenes were also done by Kasper, Oops, Swoops, Oh Oh, Elmo, and Bandit. Each working owl had its own perch, a large space to safely fly around in, fully equipped bathing facilities, and an invisible safety line to help them make their way across the scene to a trainer waiting with a treat.
Buddy from Air Bud
Buddy, the adorable golden retriever from Air Bud, was a stray dog in the Sierra Nevada before he was found by Kevin di Cicco. Di Cicco likes to say they rescued each other, and he trained Buddy in basketball and other sports before starring in the popular Disney Channel Original Movie. Buddy also appeared in one episode of Full House as Comet, where he shows off his basketball skills for Danny Tanner.
Cosmo from Fuller House
At just four years old, Cosmo from Fuller House passed away from surgery complications. In addition to playing the family’s dog (who was supposed to be the great-grandson of Comet from Full House), Cosmo also appeared on Suits, The Middle, and Grey’s Anatomy. In September 2020, the Tanner family reunited to perform Jeff Franklin’s original song, “Gotta Love a Golden,” to honor Cosmo and Comet.
Max from The Grinch
Max was the cutest character in the 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas(and, TBH, every adaption of The Grinch), but did you know he was actually played by six different mixed-breed shelter rescue dogs? Humane Hollywood says he was played by Kelly, Chip, Topsy, Stella, Zelda, and Bo, who all wore a lightweight headpiece with long ears attached and an additional antler headpiece and fur-covered harness on the flying scenes.
The Puppies in 101 Dalmatians
It may be called 101 Dalmatians, but there were actually 230 Dalmatian puppies and 20 adult Dalmatians on set of this 1996 Disney film. The trainers used various treats and voice commands to get the dogs to act a certain way, and they rubbed steak juice and raw hot dogs on the actors to get the dogs to lick their skins in all those loving scenes (*shudder*).
Hooch from Turner & Hooch
The sweet pooch Tom Hanks takes care of in the 1989 film, Turner & Hooch, is a Douge De Bordeaux – a French breed built like a Rottweiler with a wrinkled face and lots of personality. Several different dogs portrayed Hooch, all of which had their own special talents including crawling without using front legs, jumping, butting his head through a door, and more. Tom Hanks spent time with all of the dogs prior to filming to ensure he had a good relationship with them on camera.
Marley from Marley and Me
Marley, the adorable golden Labrador that made everyone cry in Marley and Me, ate a lot of baby food on set, according to Humane Hollywood. That’s because trainers would smear it on actors or objects to encourage Marley (who was played by several different golden labs) to lick it. Baby food was also hidden in the diaper the sweet dog bites to make it more appealing.
Fat Louie from The Princess Diaries
The adorably lazy Fat Louie from The Princess Diaries was played by four different cats: one who allowed people to carry it, one who could sit still, one who could jump, and one who sits on the envelope at the end of the movie. Even cooler, one of the Fat Louie cats was Anne Hathaway‘s real life pet!
Beethoven from Beethoven
Beethoven from the original 1992 film was played by a St. Bernard named Chris. Although he was allowed to do many of his own stunts and tricks (like drinking out of a fish bowl with fish swimming in it, stealing snacks, and dressing up as a horse for Halloween), there was also a full mechanical dog on site and a mechanical dog head to create unique facial expressions and reactions, like those funny bulging eyes.