National Geographic News
Actress Dorothy Lamour and chimpanzee co-star Jiggs.

Actress Dorothy Lamour sits next to co-star chimpanzee, Jiggs.

Photograph from Paramount Picture Corporation/National Geographic

Johnna Rizzo

National Geographic News

Published February 24, 2013

Dorothy Lamour, most famous for her Road to ... series of movies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, never won an Oscar. In her 50-plus-year career as an actress, she never even got nominated.

Neither did Jiggs the chimpanzee, pictured here with Lamour on the set of Her Jungle Love in a photo published in the 1938 National Geographic story "Monkey Folk."

No animal has ever been nominated for an Oscar. According to Academy Award rules, only actors and actresses are eligible.

Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier from last year's best picture winner, The Artist, didn't rate a nod. The equines that portrayed Seabiscuit and War Horse, movies that were best picture contenders in their respective years, were also snubbed.

Even the seven piglets that played Babe, the eponymous star of the best picture nominee in 1998, didn't rate. And the outlook seems to be worsening for the animal kingdom's odds of ever getting its paws on that golden statuette.

This year, two movies nominated in the best picture category had creatures that were storyline drivers with significant on-screen time. Neither Beasts of the Southern Wild (which featured extinct aurochs) or Life of Pi (which featured a CGI Bengal tiger named Richard Parker) used real animals.

An Oscar's not the only way for animals to get ahead, though. Two years after this photo was published, the American Humane Association's Los Angeles Film & TV Unit was established to monitor and protect animals working on show business sets. The group's creation was spurred by the death of a horse during the filming of 1939's Jessie James.

Today, it's still the only organization that stamps "No Animals Were Harmed" onto a movie's closing credits.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of pieces that looks at the news through the lens of the National Geographic photo archives.

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