'Bedtime for Bonzo' A 5-year-old chimp named Peggy made a monkey out of her human co-star Ronald Reagan in this cult 1951 low-budget comedy about a college professor and a lab chimp named Bonzo. According to the films screenwriter, Ted Berkman, Peggy could reportedly weep on command or laugh, snarl with hate, smooch affectionately or stand on [her] head, responding promptly to some 502 instructions. Peggy, who also was featured in several of Johnny Weissmullers "Jungle Jim movies, was signed to a five-year contract at Universal because of her performance as Bonzo. But just weeks after the films premiere, Peggy, her stand-in and two other chimps died of suffocation during a zoo fire. A new chimp had to be brought in for 1952s Bonzo Goes to College.
Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times