Talking Dog 'Duke' Of Bush's Baked Beans Dies One of the dogs who played the iconic Bush's Baked Beans talking dog named Duke in TV commercials, has died. Sam, who was one of many dog actors who played Duke over the years, died from cancer last week.
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Talking Dog 'Duke' Of Bush's Baked Beans Dies

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Talking Dog 'Duke' Of Bush's Baked Beans Dies

Talking Dog 'Duke' Of Bush's Baked Beans Dies

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A golden retriever named Sam has gone to his final reward without spilling the beans.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Sam played Duke, Jay Bush's crafty canine companion in the ads for Bush's Baked Beans.

CHANG: The running gag - Duke knows the secret to the company's recipe and claims he'll stay mum.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Duke) You can trust me, Jay.

JAY BUSH: (As himself) I know, boy, but I'm not taking any chances.

KELLY: The Bush Brothers and Company confirmed Sam's death. He was just one of the several Goldens who played Duke over the years.

CHANG: But why use a dog to sell beans? After all, many vets say baked beans aren't good for dogs.

KELLY: Well, Jay Bush - that would be the great-grandson of the company's founder - really had a golden retriever named Duke. And in the mid-1990s when Bush's Baked Beans needed a new advertising campaign, they decided to capitalize on Jay and Duke's relationship.

CHANG: People love dogs. People love beans.

KELLY: The real Duke, though, was not up to snuff, a little camera shy. Here's company marketing VP Jennifer Podhajsky.

JENNIFER PODHAJSKY: We require our Dukes to be great actors. And we wanted to make sure family dogs could remain as family dogs.

KELLY: So they called in the canine actors, including Sam.

CHANG: Podhajsky says despite Sam's death, the tradition of Duke will live on.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Duke) Bush's secret family recipe for sale.

BUSH: (As himself) Duke? Duke? Did you have something to do with this?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Duke) Right, Jay, I'm running a printing press in my basement.

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