Movie Talk

Cats on film have purred and roared their way into cinematic history

Movie Talk

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Life of Pi

'Life of Pi' (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

If only Duran Duran revised their 1981 hit to be called "Cats on Film."

Since the big screen adaptation of "Life of Pi" is coming out in less than a month, we at Yahoo! Movies thought it fitting to take a look at cat characters on the big screen. A huge Bengal tiger is a centerpiece of "Pi," after all.

Here is our timeline of memorable felines on film:

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Filming the MGM Lion
 

1917 - You may not have known this, but the famed MGM lion that roars before the studio's films has been played by about seven different cats over the years. The first lion was Slats, who first appeared in the Goldwyn Pictures logo in 1917 (before it merged with two other studios in 1924 to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

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Hepburn and Grant in 'Bringing Up Baby'
 

1938 - Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn costar with a leopard in "Bringing Up Baby." Reportedly, Hepburn had no problem acting opposite the giant cat, even though it did lunge at her once, but Grant was petrified and all his shots with the animal were done with stand-ins.

1942 - Horror film "Cat People" revolves around a man who fears his wife will turn into a deadly cat person. Unexplained events ensue and by the end of the film we see her turn into a black panther. The film was remade in 1982.

[Yahoo! Movies Exclusives: Sally Field talks 'Lincoln,' Tom Hanks on 'Cloud Atlas']

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Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast and Tiffany's'
 

1961 - Audrey Hepburn's "poor slob without a name" was played by the cat Orangey in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

1964 - "From Russia With Love" marks the first appearance of the villain Blofeld holding his signature white cat. Blofeld and his feline friend appeared in five more James Bond films.

1965 - Hayley Mills stars in "That Darn Cat," about a kidnapped woman who is able to transmit a message through a wandering cat that catches the attention of the FBI.

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Marlon Brando, Art Carney and Sigourney Weaver
 

1972 - "The Godfather" opens with Don Vito Corleone stroking a cat on his lap as he conducts family business. Marlon Brando found the stray wandering around the studio and decided at the last minute to include it in the scene.

1974 - In "Harry and Tonto" Art Carney traverses the U.S. with his beloved cat Tonto after his New York apartment is torn down. Carney won an Oscar for the role, while Tonto was criminally overlooked.

1979 - Ripley wasn't the only survivor to escape the alien aboard the USCSS Nostromo. Remember, Jonesy the cat also managed to keep out of the toothy Xenomorph's clutches in "Alien."

1989 - That icky grey cat named Church in "Pet Sematary" sure causes a lot of trouble when he is brought back to life.

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Mike Myers as Dr. Evil
 

1997 - Who can forget Dr. Evil's hairless feline Mr. Bigglesworth in the "Austin Powers" series. Remember to heed Dr. Evil's warning: "...When Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset... people DIE!"

2000 - Ben Stiller makes a major faux pas when he loses his girlfriend's parents' beloved Himalayan cat, Mr. Jinx, in "Meet the Parents."

2009 - The guys discover a giant tiger in their hotel room after they awaken from a drug-and-alcohol-induced Las Vegas bender, unable to remember their wild night. Turns out the tiger belongs to Mike Tyson. Uh-oh.

2012 - Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel becomes stranded on a boat with an enormous Bengal tiger after he survives a shipwreck in the Pacific in "Life of Pi," in theaters November 21.

Watch "Life of Pi" Clip:
'Life of Pi' Clip: Flying Fish

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