The Most Famous Cats From Films
There’s no denying that cats ooze sassy charm when they’re on screen, dominating a film scene. Whether they’re chasing mice or cooped up on a lap with a powerful character stroking their head, cats sure know how to purr their way into our hearts. Yes, sometimes they can be cute, but sometimes they’re creepy — like a black cat appearing out of nowhere. But, the feline element certainly enhances a film scene. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous cats on film and some of the most pawsome performances of all time (in no particular order).
1. Mr Bigglesworth – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Yes, Mr Bigglesworth is a “catty” and menacing feline who has even made it into countless shared memes. The scene from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery that we all remember, of course, is when Dr Evil (played by Mike Myers) is sitting on his chair with Dr Bigglesworth in his arms, stroking him. As the story goes, Mr Bigglesworth was originally a long-haired white Persian cat. However, along with Dr Evil, Mr Bigglesworth was forced into a cryogenic capsule. Unfortunately, this resulted in his hair falling out, leaving him bald for life. A hairless Sphynx called Ted Nude-Gent had the honour of portraying the role of Mr Bigglesworth.
2. Don Corleone’s cat – The Godfather (1972)
According to The Godfather Book by Peter Cowie, the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, spotted a stray cat on the Paramount lot during filming, which led to this tabby cat’s big Hollywood break. Coppola instinctively took the cat and placed it in Marlon Brando’s hand. The kittie (as it’s called) became a crucial part of one scene in the 1972 film – in which Vito, the cat’s owner, visits Don Corleone (Brando) to ask for it back, not that that went down well – and definitely highlights the sinister charm of Brando’s character.
3. Keanu – Keanu (2016)
Expect serious cuteness overload from Keanu: this kitten’s so powerful that the film is named after him! The action-packed comedy starring Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key follows the two main characters as they go through some insane adventures filled with murder to get Keanu back. Apparently, seven different cats and kittens were used to portray Keanu – a fact that deserves some applause for the continuity team!
4. Fat Louie – The Princess Diaries (2001)
Fat Louie is one of the fiercest felines to grace the big screen and Genovia, the fictional city-state created by Meg Cabot. This adorable black-and-white kitty held our gaze as he remained poised through all of Mia Thermopolis Renaldi’s royal dilemmas. Fat Louie was played by four different cats throughout The Princess Diaries series.
5. Mrs Norris – Harry Potter series (2001-2011)
Always in search of students up to no good, the furry Mrs Norris was a scene-stealer in the Harry Potter films. She was the pet cat belonging to Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Mrs Norris dutifully alerted her master whenever students were misbehaving at Hogwarts. She is best known for her lamp-like eyes, skeletal body and dust-coloured fur (not the fluffiest of felines, that’s for sure!).
6. Holly Golightly’s cat – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Perhaps the ultimate film feline in many regards, this unnamed cat – in all his fluffy, ginger glory – elicits an “awww” from all who gaze upon him. It could be argued that he was more well-liked than Holly Golightly’s love interest, Paul Varjak (George Peppard, playing opposite the iconic Audrey Hepburn). “Cat” is thought to be an external part of Holly’s unrooted identity. Although unnamed, this gorgeous fur-friend plays an integral part to the symbolism of Holly and Paul’s relationship.
7. Cleo – The Mummy (1999)
This blue-eyed and white-furred beauty was brought over from Cairo. Cleo was a house cat who would often wander around Evelyn Carnahan’s living space. Cleo plays an important part in saving the O’Connells from the mummy (who’s called Imhotep). As Imhotep approaches Evelyn (played by Rachel Weisz), the cat walks across the keys of a piano. The discordant notes frighten Imhotep, causing him to evaporate. Turns out: cats are guardians of the underworld and Imhotep will fear felines until he is fully regenerated. (We always knew they had powers, but this takes the (cat) biscuit!)
8. Thackery Binx – Hocus Pocus (1993)
Thackery Binx is a 17th-century teenager who is transformed into an immortal black cat by the film’s trio of witches. Jason Marsden voices the cat, as directors were looking for an authentic-sounding period accent. This powerful black cat provides some heroic action as he ultimately saves the day during the standoff in this cult classic movie starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker.
9. Mr Jinx – Meet the Parents (2000)
Played by two gorgeous Himalayan cats, Mr Jinx is quite the character. Robert De Niro was so bewildered by them that he requested that they be used in more scenes. Mr Jinx is the pride and joy of De Niro’s character, Jack Byrnes, who teaches him to wave when called and how to use a toilet (and we’re not talking litter trays, here). Mr Jinx’s human-like qualities sure do add to the charm of this somewhat cheeky and hilarious movie.
10. Jonesy – Alien (1979)
Jonesy, the ginger cat, was kept aboard the USCSS Nostromo as Ellen Ripley’s pet. Jonesy was meant to control rodents on the ship, but also served as a companion and entertainment for the crew. A standout scene has to be when he leads Harry Dean Stanton to his gruesome death and silently watches as the Xenomorph consumes him. That has to be some of the best acting from a feline!
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/ 02 March 2021