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.”

Gidget also appeared as Reese Witherspoon's animal sidekick in Legally Blonde 2. Services are pending.

LA Weekly