Lead actors know they’ll probably leave a film with millions of dollars, a legion of new fans, and maybe even a cool prop or wardrobe item. But they might not expect to leave with a new furry family member! Yet over the course of Hollywood history, plenty of stars have formed special bonds with the animals they’ve worked with, be it a dog, a cat, a horse, or even a baby deer — so much so that they ended up taking them home!
1. Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor shot to fame at only 12 years old in 1944’s National Velvet, a picture that saw her playing a young rider who dresses up as a male jockey to win the Grand National. The horse she rode in the movie was named King Charles, and she had ridden him for years at her local country club.
She told Interview, “He was a wild, thoroughbred racehorse that nobody else could ride, and, of course, that thrilled me to the core and made me his, and he mine.” King Charles was reportedly a handful and may have bitten some members of the crew! That didn’t stop Taylor from falling in love with him, though.
One heck of a 13th-birthday present
In fact, Taylor loved King Charles so much that she begged MGM head honcho Louis B. Mayer throughout the shoot to let her keep him. In the end, Mayer gave her the horse as a birthday gift. Perhaps because he would then be her problem, not the studio’s!
The horse was kept at a stables for the rest of his life, and Taylor would regularly visit. She told AFI, “I think Velvet is still the most exciting film I’ve ever done. And at the end, to be given the horse on my 13th birthday — well, it was one of the moments of my life.”
2. Sarah Jessica Parker
In Sex and the City revival show And Just Like That… Carrie Bradshaw adopts an adorable cat who she names Shoe. In real life, the kitty’s name is Lotus, and he was provided to the show by the Connecticut Humane Society.
The organization posted on Facebook, “Some pets get really exciting foster homes while they're here… Little Lotus got to be on the set of And Just Like That with Sarah Jessica Parker in Manhattan! Did you see his adorable debut?” And in the end, it turned out the audience weren’t the only ones who fell in love with Lotus.
A furry family of three
In August 2023 Parker wrote on Instagram, “Adopted officially by the Parker/Broderick family in April 2023. He joins Rémy and Smila who we adopted in May 2022. If he looks familiar, that's because he is.”
That’s right: Parker took the little guy home to live with her other two cats, and he couldn’t be happier! She even shared a bit of background on his unique name, writing, “He and his siblings were all given botanical names when they were rescued as newborns.”