Celebrities are constantly in the media spotlight, which can often lead them to doing some truly outrageous things. But nothing is stranger than some of the animals our favorite celebs have adopted over the years.
These 19 animals are the most bizarre celebrity pets ever kept. But before you get too judgmental, ask yourself one question: if you could afford a pet anteater, wouldn’t you at least consider getting one?
1. Best known for her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Tippi Hedron adopted a pet lion named Neil in preparation for the animal-themed 1981 thriller, Roar. She even let him sleep in her bed!
2. Hollywood agent Lee Gordon gave Elvis a baby kangaroo as a gag gift. Perhaps to Gordon’s surprise, the King of Rock and Roll loved animals, and made a valiant attempt to domesticate the kangaroo. Unfortunately, his efforts were futile, and Presley eventually surrendered by donating the marsupial to the Memphis Zoo.
3. Moviegoers from 1911 and 1941 knew Phyllis Gordon from the fifty films that she starred in during that time. They also knew her from this image of her shopping with her pet cheetah.
4. Audrey Hepburn met her pet fawn, Pippin, on the set of the 1958 film Green Mansions.
5. “It Girl” Clara Bow was the subject of intense public scrutiny throughout her career. Owning a pet koala probably didn’t help.
6. Surrealist Salvador Dali got his pet ocelot, Babou, in the 1960s and took him on adventures.
7. Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer. Her pet Cheetah, Chiquita, traveled the world with her. When you consider how incredible Baker’s life was, including once serving as a spy, owning a cheetah is a little bit less strange.
8. John Barrymore once had a pet monkey named Clementine. Clementine became a celebrity in his own right, appearing in several of Barrymore’s films and tagging along with Barrymore during his fancy nighttime excursions.
9. As the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey became even more menacing in the eyes of the public when he adopted a lion named Togar.
10. Rebecca the Raccoon lived in the White House with the Coolidge family, and joined them for an official public outing at the 1927 Easter Egg Roll.
11. Anna Pavlova was a world famous Russian ballerina, best known for her performance of “The Dying Swan.” She kept a pet swan named Jack, who hopefully was more of a living swan.
12. You have to wonder how American actress Joan Blondel’s pet leopard felt about its owner wearing a leopard print coat.
13. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s pet deer, Granzino, was patient enough to pose in 1946 for her owner’s painting, “The Wounded Deer.” It became one of Kahlo’s most famous works.
14. American stage and film actress Gene Tierney owned a leopard, and hopefully didn’t actually wear one.
15. Ann-Margret was well known in the ’60s for films like Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas. Here she is overshadowed by this unbelievably cute baby ocelot.
16. Journalist Betty Bowen may have scared more people with her pet skunk than any other animal on this list.
17. American actress Marian Nixon started the trend of animal-print fashion while an actual leopard looked on. Yikes.
18. Osa Johnson and her husband, Martin, thrilled the world with their wild adventure stories in the early 1900s. They adopted a cheetah named Bong from Kenya before moving to New York City, where the Johnsons would walk him in Central Park.
19. Salvador Dali used to walk around Paris with his pet anteater. That was probably the least strange thing he ever did.
Mark my words: if I ever become rich and famous, don’t be surprised to find pictures of me with a pet panda. Why? Because I can!
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