Associated Press reports that Gidget, the chihuahua that fronted an immensely popular series of Taco Bell TV ads, has died of a massive stroke, according to her handlers. She was 15. Although decried by some Latino groups for perpetuating cultural stereotypes, Gidget's character became an instant icon as the big-eyed pup who, in a male voice announced, "Yo quiero Taco Bell" -- "I want Taco Bell."
Another catchphrase was "Drop the chalupa," delivered in accented English. The ads perhaps reached an apotheosis of sorts when Gidget appeared as a beret-wearing, Che Guevara-type leader addressing a crowd. According to ABC.com, "Gidget's trainer, Sue Chipperton, says she tried to shield the pup from the mobs who recognized her as the Taco Bell dog."
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Gidget also appeared as Reese Witherspoon's animal sidekick in Legally Blonde 2. Services are pending.