Chico, the Chihuahua Star of Broadway's Legally Blonde, dies at 14

Chico was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.

Laura Bell Bundy and Chico at the opening of Legally Blonde in 2007.
Laura Bell Bundy and Chico at the opening of Legally Blonde in 2007.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Chico, the beloved Chihuahua who originated the role of Bruiser in Legally Blonde — the Musical, died Monday, March 11, at the age of 14. Chico was surrounded by his family, Tony-honored Broadway animal trainer Bill Berloni and producer Dorothy Berloni.

The Chihuahua played Bruiser during Legally Blonde's entire Broadway run and not only went on tour with the show, but also appeared in numerous regional productions. Chico was immortalized in the show's official logo, and also appeared in MTV's live taping of the show, as well as the reality series The Search for the Next Elle Woods.

Berloni rescued Chico from death row at the Associated Humane Society in Newark, having been severely abused by his previous family. Frightened and aggressive, Chico was expected to be euthanized, but Berloni adopted and rehabilitated him. Over time, and with the additional help of Legally Blonde stars Laura Bell Bundy, Annaleigh Ashford, and Christian Borle, and adoring audiences, Chico overcame his fears.

Donations in Chico's memory can be made to the Humane Society's Sandy Fund, an endowment fund to benefit homeless animals created by the Berlonis in honor of the rescue dog that originated the role of Sandy in Annie.