Mickey Rourke loses beloved chihuahua in Oscar week

Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:23pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke's beloved Chihuahua has died just days before the actor hopes to crown his own professional resurrection at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

Loki, 18, who accompanied "The Wrestler" star to the Venice Film Festival in September, died on Monday night, Rourke's representative confirmed to E! news.

Rourke, 56, famously thanked his dogs -- past and present -- in an emotional speech at the Golden Globes in January when he won the best actor award for his comeback role in "The Wrestler" after years in the acting wilderness.

"Sometimes, when a man is alone, that's all you got is your dog. And they've meant the world to me," he said in his acceptance speech.

Rourke was pictured several times on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival cradling the brown and white Chihuahua.

Rourke, who also won a British BAFTA award, is considered a favorite for the best actor Oscar on February 22 along with Sean Penn, who played San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in the movie "Milk."

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>Actor Mickey Rourke arrives for the 2009 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, in London February 8, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>