Beatrice, the beloved French bulldog who played Stella on Modern Family and became as much a part of the show as its human cast during most of its run, has reportedly died. Beatrice died last week, after production on the show's series finale wrapped. She joined the Modern Family cast in Season 4, replacing another French bulldog, Brigitte.
Sources told The Blast on Sunday that Stella, whose real name was Beatrice, died "about a week ago," just days after filming finished. It is not clear what led to her death.
Beatrice was represented by the Good Dog Animals agency, reports PEOPLE. The agency has not commented on Beatrice's death. However, The Blast reports a former trainer did confirm Beatrice's death on Instagram. "My Ride Or Die. Always. #Beatrice," the trainer wrote, alongside a photo of the dog.
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Stella instantly became a fan-favorite character on Modern Family when introduced in the Season 2 episode "Good Cop Bad Dog." Ed O'Neill's Jay Pritchett loved the dog almost as much as - if not more than - his own children and grandchildren for the rest of the show's run.
In 2017, Beatrice's owners, Guin and Steve Solomon, said O'Neill grew to love Beatrice in real life.
"Ed O'Neill is in love with her!" they told Bodie on the Road in 2017. "It's very easy working with him because he brings Beatrice treats like popcorn and always looks out for her – like we'll be doing scenes in the backyard by the pool and in between takes he'll say, 'Would you please get Beatrice an umbrella, she’s in the sun!'"
The Solomons said they always made sure there was a crate near the set so Stella could take a break between filming, just like the human actors.
"We teach and promote crate training because that way the dog always has a den where they can rest and relax so yes, in between takes, we always put Stella in her crate," they explained. "Otherwise she'd be running around the set and then be panting wildly for her scene and we'd have to take extra time to calm her down! Of course the crew loves to play with her when she’s out and about because she’s so fun and clowny. She really is one of the family!"
Beatrice joined Modern Family due to a dispute between Brigitte's owner and producers. In 2012, Brigitte's owner asked to be on set to supervise the dog at all times. Instead of agreeing to the conditions, Stella was recast and Beatrice held the role through the end.
Beatrice was also seen in Suburgatory, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Kominsky Method and Workaholics, according to her Good Dog Animals resume. She also appeared in commercials for Dunkin' Donuts, MetLife, AvoDerm and Del Monte.0comments
The Modern Family series finale airs on ABC April 8 at 9 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: ABC/Robert Ashcroft