PATSY Awards - The animal equivalent of the
"Oscars," the PATSY award (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) was presented by
Hollywood's office of the American Humane Association to human trained animal
performers for noteworthy performances in TV and movies between 1951 and 1986
(when the award event closed due to lack of funding). The first PATSY ceremonies were held at Hollywood's Carthay Circle Theater.
The PATSY awards were divided into four categories: canine, equine, wild animal, and a special category which includes a variety of
animals such as ravens, goats, and house cats.
The act of honoring performing animals
originated with an accident which killed a horse during the filming of the
western movie Jesse James (1939) starring Tyrone Powers. After that
incident, the American Humane Association pushed for stricter standards in the
handling of animals in the entertainment industry.
The first PATSY was given to Francis (a Mule) in
Francis the Talking Mule in 1951. The second and third PATSYs that year
went to California (a horse) for The Palomino; and Pierre (a chimp) in
My Friend Irma Goes West.
Additional honors given to certain animals were the Awards of Excellence
and The Craven Award, The Craven Award honored Richard C. Craven, the first director of
the AHA. The award was bestowed to animals who excelled in training, rearing, jumping, falling or fighting.
PATSY Award Winners:
1950s; 1960s: 1970s: 1980s
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