Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the News . . .

AH! FINALLY SOMETHING TO DISPLACE MICHAEL JACKSON NEWS . . .

Taco Bell ad star Gidget the Chihuahua dies at 15
By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Writer Robert Jablon, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 22, 9:27 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Gidget the Chihuahua, the bug-eyed, big-eared star of 1990s Taco Bell commercials who was a diva on and off the screen, has died. She was 15. Gidget suffered a massive stroke late Tuesday night at her trainer's home in Santa Clarita and had to be euthanized, said Karin McElhatton, owner of Studio Animal Services in Castaic, which owned the dog.


Although she was hard of hearing, Gidget was otherwise in good health up to the day of her death, eating well and playing with her favorite squeaky toys at the home of trainer Sue Chipperton, McElhatton said.

"She was retired. She lived like a queen, very pampered," McElhatton said.

Gidget was found at a kennel and wasn't show quality, McElhatton said; she had an undershot jaw and huge ears.

But Gidget knew she was a star, McElhatton said.

"She was a prima donna, basically. She absolutely knew when she was on camera," McElhatton said.

In a 1997 Taco Bell television commercial, Gidget was seen as a male dog who, through the magic of special effects and a voice actor, proclaims in a richly accented voice: "Yo quiero Taco Bell" — Spanish for "I want Taco Bell."

Viewers were charmed. What was supposed to be a single ad became a campaign that ran from 1997 to 2000.

The ads made the Taco Bell mascot wildly popular, although they provoked criticism from activists who accused them of promoting Hispanic stereotypes.

While other Chihuahuas had bit parts, McElhatton said it was Gidget who got the closeups and the quips (Carlos Alazraqui was the voice).

Gidget traveled first-class, opened up the New York Stock Exchange and made an appearance at Madison Square Garden, McElhatton said.

In later years, she did other acting work, appearing in a 2002 commercial for the insurance company GEICO and in the 2003 movie "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde."

She remained the object of affection after her retirement, going on hikes and beach visits with her trainer. She aged gracefully, and liked nothing more than to snooze in the sun.

"She was like a little old lady. She'd kind of gotten smaller," McElhatton said.

Gidget will be cremated, McElhatton said. Her owners had not decided on a final disposition of her remains. Taco Bell Corp. said in a statement Gidget would be missed by many. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her owners and fans," the company said.


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And in what somehow feels like a related story, July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day. So go on out and eat a dog today! Just make sure it's not called a Gidget Dog.

16 comments:

Gran said...

Hippo Birdie 2 U
Hippo Birdie 2 U
Hippo Birdie Dear Ki-m
Hippo Birdie 2 U

Oh, to be 39 again! Wishing I had your youth!

:0)

Big Quilting Adventure Hugs

Heckety said...

Happy Birthday to you, Sister Bear! Thank you for visiting! I hope you're ok for the day that's in it...not too many hot dogs!...

Eileen said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY kiM, i'll be a little more suttle than the others.
Hope you feel better so you can go to work as I think your bosses are planning a party. Don't want to miss that. Have a great day.

Kelly Ann said...

Happy Birthday....eat cake...

Kelly Ann said...

Here Lizard, Lizard, Lizard...am I the only one that remembers the commercial where this little dog is trying to capture Godzilla?

Owens Family Adventures said...

Happy birthday!! Hope your day is filled with presents....oh, and love and laughter and all that stuff but mostly?? PRESENTS!!!!
heehee
hugs,
dawn

PunkiePie said...

Happy Birthday! And I was just a *little* sad when I read yesterday that the Taco Bell doggie died.

dianne said...

well now ... that's pretty DOG GONE special - your birthday and national hot dog day are one and the same!!! who knew? AND Gidget the Taco Bell dog was a girl, not a boy!!! who knew?

happy birthday to you!

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday to KIM!!!!!
Happy Birthday to you...........

and m...a....n....y m...o...r...e.............

Have a wonderful day...can't wait to find out what you got for your birthday!!

Orcsmom said...

Happy Birthday to my wonderful and generous friend! I am very lucky to have your friendship. Thank you for being you! Love ya!

Pam

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a Happy Birthday. Hope all your wishes come true!

Thanks for the wonderful class. I hope in the future to take more from you!

claudine

Cynthia said...

Happy Birthday!

quiltmom said...

Happy Birthday to you ,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday , Happy birthday,
Happy birthday to you.
Hope you are having a grand day filled with good cheer, good fun, good food and good friends.
Wishing you all the best,
Warmest regards,
Anna

quiltmom said...

Happy Birthday to you ,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday , Happy birthday,
Happy birthday to you.
Hope you are having a grand day filled with good cheer, good fun, good food and good friends.
Wishing you all the best,
Warmest regards,
Anna

julieQ said...

Happiest birthday to you! 21 again...yahoo!!

Anonymous said...

Happy B-Day.
Hope it was a good one. We will celebrate on Saturday.
:) :) :)
Kathy