(UnitedVoice.com) – Some movies stick with you throughout life, and for many, Old Yeller is at the top of the list. It’s touted as one of the saddest films in cinematic history, one of the lead actors brought many viewers to tears at the heartbreaking conclusion. Now, fans of the movie have another reason to be sad.
Best known for his role as Travis Coates in Old Yeller, Tommy Kirk has passed away at the age of 79. He was found in his Las Vegas home on Tuesday, September 28. Authorities do not suspect foul play.
Kirk rose to fame in 1957 at the age of 16 when he acted in the classic movie, bringing the bond between a human and his best friend and all the adventures they had to the big screen.
His delivery of one of the saddest lines will remain ingrained in the memories of fans:
One of the most gut-wrenching scenes of my youth:
Mama: There's no hope for him now, Travis. He's suffering. You know we've got to do it.
Travis: Yes, Mama. But he was my dog. I'll do it. https://t.co/JhQott0AQI
— Classic Film TV Cafe (@classic_film) September 29, 2021
The movie launched his career with Disney, and the studio also cast him in The Misadventures of Merlin Jones and later in the Old Yeller sequel: The Monkey’s Uncle. He starred in other movies including, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Pajama Party and Village of the Giants. In 1970, he quit acting, choosing to start his own carpet-cleaning business.
While he may no longer be with us, his legacy will live on digitally. Despite some troubles with the company early in his career, Disney chose to honor him as a Disney Legend in 2006, cementing his place in cinematic history.
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