Silence Of The Lambs Poodle Precious Had An Impressive Acting Career

Darla the dog is best remembered for playing The Silence Of The Lambs' Precious, but she had an impressive list of credits. The Silence Of The Lambs wa the second big-screen adaptation of a Hannibal Lecter novel - following 1986's Manhunter, which was based on Red Dragon - and it was a huge success in 1991. It was a rare horror movie that was praised by critics, and in addition to grossing over $270 million worldwide, it won the "Big Five" at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Best Actress (Jodie Foster).

The Silence Of The Lambs is a film loaded with memorable performances, from Anthony Hopkins' instantly iconic Hannibal to Brooke Smith's kidnap victim Catherine Martin. While the film has come under fire for its portrayal of a trans character with Buffalo Bill (AKA Jame Gumb), it can't be denied that actor Ted Levine did powerful work with the role. He also had a memorable co-star in Darla the dog, the Bichon Frise who played his pet poodle, Precious.

Related: Clarice Forgets What Made Catherine Such A Survivor In Silence of the Lambs

Silence Of The Lambs' main killer Gumb seemed to care little for anyone, bar Precious. The only time in the story he seems to express empathy is when Catherine - who Gumb kidnapped with the intent of skinning - kidnaps Precious and threatens to hurt her unless he lets Catherine go. Precious thankfully survives the movie, but this wasn't Darla the dog's first credit. In fact, she made her screen debut in Tim Burton's Pee-wee's Big Adventure in 1985, credited as "Pink Poodle."

Darla seemingly had a knack for working with great filmmakers too, as her next appearance was as Queenie in Joe Dante's The 'Burbs, which has since become a cult favorite. She seemingly became in demand during this period, as aside from playing Precious in Silence Of The Lambs, she made TV appearances on an episode of Craig T. Nelson sitcom Coach and Eerie, Indiana.

Darla the dog's final screen role was as "Ratty Poodle" in 1992's Batman Returns, which reunited her with Burton again. Ratty Poodle was the pet dog of Penguin's henchwoman Poodle Lady, and most famously grabbed Batman's Super-Batarang out of mid-air and ran away with it. Sadly, Darla the dog passed away in 1992 at age 17, shortly after the release of the superhero sequel. While probably best remembered as Precious, she did amass a surprisingly impressive list of credits and provides unlikely links between movies like Silence Of The Lambs and Batman Returns.

Next: Why Batman Returns Is Better Than Tim Burton's Original

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