As awards season continues, silent movie The Artist is sweeping all before it. On Sunday, it added seven Baftas to its three Golden Globes and now its canine star, Uggie, has been named best dog in a theatrical film at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards.
The Jack Russell terrier appears as Jean Dujardin’s pet in the film, winning the hearts of audiences with a number of memorable scenes, including one in which he mimics his owner’s actions.
Adding the award to the Palm Dog he received in Cannes, Uggie triumphed over contenders including Doberman Blackie – star of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo – despite the director’s high-profile campaign to have his dog recognised.
Speaking earlier on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Scorsese suggested that Blackie had been the subject of “negative campaigning”.
“I do films about anti-heroes, and Blackie’s the anti-hero,” said Scorsese. “Uggie’s a hero and Uggie’s a beautiful dog and very talented, but anti-heroes can be talented, too. And in 3D with a long muzzle!”
Dressed in a tasteful bow tie and dinner jacket combination, Uggie, ten, received the award alongside his real-life companion Omar Von Muller, who paid tribute to him as a “great performer, but also a great family member”.
Also accompanying Uggie at the ceremony, which took place at California’s Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, were The Artist co-stars Missi Pyle and James Cromwell.
“I’m delighted to be here,” said Babe star Cromwell, “because I owe my career to a pig.”
Other winners at the inaugural event included French bulldog Brigitte, who was named best dog in a television series for her performance as Stella in US comedy Modern Family, and Hercules, star of Pit Boss, who was joint winner of the best dog in a reality series award with Giggy of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The Golden Collar Awards are the brainchild of Alan Siskind of website dognewsdaily.com. Coverage of the event was streamed live on the site but Siskind expects it to be shown live on TV next year.
See Uggie and co in action in the trailer for The Artist.