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“Duke,” A Dog in the Bush’s Baked Beans Commercial, Has Died

When the time came for Jay Bush to appear in commercials as the spokesman for his family’s brand of baked beans, he turned to his Golden Retriever, Duketo, for comfort.At a meeting to discuss commercial ideas in 1996, someone at the table suggested Jay tell Duke the secret family recipe for the delicious beans. At first, the idea seemed silly, but Jay whispered in his dog’s ear and the famous Bush’s Baked Beans series of commercials was born.The real Duke Bush wasn’t a fan of the spotlight, however, so a look-alike professional dog actor was brought in to play the role. That was Sam. He’s been in the commercials for years.

The company has worked closely with several dogs who portrayed Duke in its commercials. Sam hasn’t been in any for a “number of years.”

Sam, who lived in Apopka just north of Orlando, was put down last week after battling an aggressive cancer, according to David Odom, a friend of Sam’s owner.

He added that the owner is “heartbroken by Sam’s death.

We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke. The relationship between Jay and his beloved dog Duke is the embodiment of the BUSH’S brand, and has been a part of our family story for more than 20 years. During that time, we’ve worked closely with several dogs who portrayed Duke in our commercials, including Sam. While Sam has not worked with us in years, we are saddened by the news of his passing and are grateful to have had him depict Duke. Because Duke is iconic to BUSH’S and so adored by our fans, we will continue to use him in our ads.

Most know him as “Duke” the Bush’s Baked Beans dog. His name is actually Sam. He lived in Apopka with our friend Susan his owner. She trains animals to work in commercials. Not just hers but others as well. Sadly she had to euthanize Sam yesterday due to an aggressive cancer he was suffering from. She is as we are heartbroken. Here is a photo from his better days. He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him. He is and will be missed.

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