July 23, 2009

Taco Bell spokesdog Gidget dead at 15

Gidget, the Chihuahua who became a pop-culture icon after starring in numerous Taco Bell commercials, has died of a stroke in Los Angeles, her trainer said.

She was 15.

Trainer Sue Chipperton told CNN she had worked with Gidget from the time she was an 8-week-old pup and she described the animal actor as a very special dog who acted like a big dog and had a big dog attitude.

During her heyday, Gidget appeared at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange and landed a supporting role in the 2003 movie, Legally Blonde 2.

Although the Taco Bell ads made her arguably the most famous Chihuahua in the United States, the well-known spots also limited the types of parts Gidget was later hired to play, her trainer said.

She was kind of typecast, so she never really got much work after that, Chipperton told CNN.

The aging dog was also an extra on last year's big-screen comedy, Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

That's what her life had come to over the years, Chipperton said, noting the dog star most recently played small background roles.