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Peggy (Bonzo)
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    (1945-March 4, 1951)
    Born in Liberia
    Best known for portraying Bonzo in ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’ (1951)
    Also portrayed Tamba in several of Johnny Weissmuller’s ‘Jungle Jim’ films
    In her best known role, she is a female chimp portraying a male.
    Ronald Reagan complained she was a scene stealer.
    She once grabbed Reagan’s necktie, pulled on it, and would not let go, almost strangling him. (Reagan switched to clip-ons for the remainder of filming.)
    After her death, an unrelated male chimp was brought in to star in ‘Bonzo Goes to College.’
    She had learned to obey 502 oral commands.
    Her acting was so convincing that director Fred de Cordova would often start describing an upcoming scene to her before realizing he should be talking to her trainer instead.
    She died of smoke inhalation after a fire swept through the World Jungle Compound where she lived.
    The fire occurred a few weeks before she and Reagan were scheduled to co-host the first PATSY awards for animal actors.

Credit: C. Fishel

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