Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Actor Rourke mourns beloved dog

Mickey Rourke and Loki at the Venice Film Festival
Loki appeared on the red carpet along with his owner Rourke

Oscar hopeful Mickey Rourke has announced the death of his 17-year-old pet Chihuahua.

Rourke, a leading Academy Award contender for The Wrestler, said Loki "fell asleep peacefully in my arms".

"Loki is deeply missed but with me in spirit," added Rourke, a lifelong owner of Chihuahuas who often took his companion to showbusiness events.

After winning the Golden Globe award, the screen star dedicated it to all his dogs, both dead and alive.

"Sometimes when a man's alone, all you got is your dogs," said Rourke in his acceptance speech for the best actor award.

After picking up a string of plaudits for his role as a grizzled prize fighter, the actor is considered to be in pole position to add the best actor Oscar to his haul.

The performance marks a career revival for Rourke, 56, after a lengthy absence from acting.

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