In the late ’90s if kids wanted to learn about various wildlife creatures but their parents disapproved of Steve Irwin, they could watch “Zoboomafoo” on PBS. The 30-minute show was hosted by brothers Chris and Martin Kratt along with a rambunctious lemur they called Zoboomafoo.
On Nov. 12, Jovian, the lemur who played Zoboomafoo, died of kidney failure at the Duke Lemur Center in N.C.. He was 20 years old and is survived by his 12 children and four grandchildren.
In honor of Jovian, Zap2it went to check on other beloved television pets and the animals that played them. Below is a list of animals that played key parts in their respective television shows and commercials who have sadly passed on.
1. Wishbone from ‘Wishbone’ (1988-2001)
In the most entertaining alternative to Spark Notes, Soccer the Jack Russell terrier played Wishbone — a dog who told the tales of life with his owners through literary classics. Throughout the series Wishbone played such iconic characters like Mr. Darcy from “Pride & Prejudice, Romeo from “Romeo & Juliet” and so many more. He passed away on June 26, 2001 on his Plano, Texas ranch where he lived with his trainer Jackie Martin Kaptan.
2. Comet from ‘Full House’ (1986-1998)
Buddy may be one of the most illustrious dog actors of the ages. Not only did he play the Tanner family dog on “Full House” but he was also the golden retriever in the “Air Bud” film series. Buddy may have been able to survive the Olsen twins and all those family hugs, but he passed away in his sleep after complications from a form of cancer in February 1998.
3. Eddie from ‘Frasier’ (1990-2006)
Moose was the Jack Russell terrier that played Eddie — loyal pet to Marin Crane on “Frasier.” Eddie was most known for his affectionate ear licking and purposefully annoying Frasier. Moose appeared in 194 of 263 episodes during the ten years “Frasier” was on TV. He spent the last year of his life retired from television and died of natural causes on June 22, 2006. He lived with his son Enzo, his trainer Michael Halberg and Jill, who played the small dog in “As Good as it Gets.”
4. Kitty from ‘The Closer’ (unknown-2009)
Remember that tearful episode in Season 5 of ‘The Closer’ when Brenda has to put Kitty down? It turns out that storyline was inspired by the real life cat actress that played Kitty. The feline actress was diagnosed with a “fairly untreatable” kidney disorder before filming of the season. Showrunner James Duff had formed an attachment to the cat and decided he didn’t want to replace her — so he had her death written into the show. “The Closer” star Kyra Sedgwick broke into tears after filming the cat’s death scene and again when she found out the real cat had died after filming.
5. The Taco Bell dog (1994-2009)
Gidget is the real name of the chihuahua that made “Yo quiero Taco Bell” a household phrase. In her post-Taco Bell commercial career, Gidget also did advertisements for GEICO and landed the role of Bruiser’s mom in “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.” Gidget was put to sleep on July 21, 2009 after suffering a stroke in her home, where she lived with trainer Sue Chipperton.
While the passing of these TV pets and animal personalities is incredibly sad, fans will be glad to know that the following are still alive and still working or living peaceful lives in retirement: Madison, better known as Vincent from “Lost,” is still doing commercial work on television, and Li’l Sebastian from “Parcks & Recreation” was spotted just last year on the “Hart of Dixie” set. Allow that to ease the pain of losing these great animal actors.