Mickey Rourke: ‘my dogs saved me from committing suicide’; Loki passes

Mickey Rourke is thanking his dogs again. When Rourke won his Golden Globe for Best Actor (for his performance in The Wrestler), he gave a very special shout-out to his dogs saying “I’d like to thank all my dogs. The ones that are here, the ones that aren’t here anymore because sometimes when a man’s alone, that’s all you got is your dog. And they’ve meant the world to me.” And thus, every dog lover in America started rooting for Mickey Rourke’s comeback.

Rourke is one of the Oscar nominees who is interviewed by Barbara Walters for her annual Oscar special. People magazine has early details of the interview, including Rourke’s admission that he was suicidal at one point during his 14-year-long downward spiral. Now Rourke is a very real position to win the Best Actor Oscar. But win or lose, Rourke still has his beloved dogs – he was even photographed with them for the New York Times “Great Performers” photo series. People has more:

Mickey Rourke, who thanked his dogs during his Golden Globes best actor acceptance speech, says his pooches received a shout-out for one simple reason: They were there for him during his darkest hour more than a decade ago.

“I sort of self-destructed and everything came out about fourteen years ago or so … the wife had left, the career was over, the money was not an ounce,” Rourke, 56, reveals during the Oscar night edition of The Barbara Walters Special, of which PEOPLE has an exclusive preview. “The dogs were there when no one else was there.”

But the star of The Wrestler says his split from ex-wife, actress-model Carre Otis, 40, further exacerbated his personal turmoil. “What happened was, I was not in a really good place in my head and my heart, and I think when the wife left, it all came down and I didn’t want to be here.”

But when asked by Walters if, at the time, he was suicidal, Rourke said, “Look, there’s always a weak way out. I’ve always known that. Yeah, I didn’t want to be here, but I didn’t want to kill myself. I just wanted to push a button and disappear.”

And at the point, Rourke turned to his dogs.

“I think I hadn’t left the house for four or five months, and I was sitting in the closet, sleeping in the closet for some reason, and I was in a bad place, and I just remember I was thinking, ‘Oh, man, if I do this,’ ” he tells Walters. “And then I looked at my dog, Lowjack, and he made a sound, like a little almost human sound. I don’t have kids, the dogs became everything to me. The dog was looking at me going, ‘Who’s going to take care of me?’ ”

From People

I’ll admit that simply reading this has me choked up. If you’ve ever been in a bad place, and you’re sitting beside your dog and he just looks at you with calm, understanding eyes, you totally know what Rourke is talking about. Dogs really do know! They comprehend when their pack leader is in a rough state, and they respond with compassion. God, I love dogs. And Mickey Rourke. I was ambivalent before, but now I really hope he wins. Dog lovers, get behind Rourke!

Note by Celebitchy: Mickey Rourke’s beloved chihuahua Loki has passed away at the age of 18. He was a cherished dog and was often seen out with the Oscar-nominated actor. Our thoughts are with Rourke at this tough time. It is heartbreaking to lose a pet and we know how much Rourke loved that dog.

File photos of Rourke out with one of his dogs, thought to be Loki, thanks to WENN.

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32 Responses to “Mickey Rourke: ‘my dogs saved me from committing suicide’; Loki passes”

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  1. barneslr says:

    Not a fan, but I agree that pets can be very therapeutic. Who else can you unload all of your problems on and KNOW that your secrets will be safe?

    I know when I fell in December and sprained my ankle, my cat was all over me for the first couple of days when I was in a lot of pain. It was like he was trying to take care of me (I know, I’m anthropomorphizing here, but that’s how it seemed). He stayed by my side.

    Now I have a hernia that I need surgery for, and that cat has been my shadow since the pain started-just constantly by my side, following me everywhere in the house. I think pets just know when something is not right and they, on their own level, want to bring some comfort to their humans.

    So, not a fan of Rourke’s, but I think anyone who loves animals so much has to have some good in them, even if it isn’t immediately apparent to me.

  2. CB Rawks says:

    He was married to that girl from that weird Wild Orchid film? Ick.

  3. CB Rawks says:

    Very sad about the dog.

  4. Chiara says:

    I believe he’s had as many as eight dogs, rescues. He wasn’t able to sleep alone in his own bed until he had his little family of pooches to curl up with.

    He must be feeling very sad at the moment.

  5. Jen says:

    Well, I’m sitting here a big ol’ blubbery mess right now. I’ve been in that place where your dogs are all that get you through, and I’ve been through the heartache and grief of losing a beloved dog, too. My heart goes out to him, it really does. Mickey’s had such a rough couple of *decades* and for him to be so honest about his struggle, and to be so appreciative of his re-found success is truly heartwarming.

    I hope to hell he wins…but even more, I hope he continues on this path of success.

  6. snappyfish says:

    poor Loki, but 18 is an amazing life for a dog. I saw milk & the wrestler and if the academy votes for BEST performance…. Mickey wins.

    Penn was great but Roarke was brilliant.

  7. geronimo says:

    That’s so sad about Loki, that will hit him hard. Very moving interview, his honestly and self-awareness and respect for what the dogs gave him is very touching.

    @barneslr – so true, very similar experiences with dogs. They just know.

  8. PinkPee says:

    @snappyfish – You are right, Loki did have a long life. Mickey seems like a great dog owner. I’m sorry for his loss.

  9. daisy424 says:

    Well written Kaiser, I couldn’t agree with you more.
    My pups give me unconditional love, even when I have crazy bed-head, sleepy eyes and morning breath.
    The fact that Loki lived so long is a testament to Rourke as a great pet owner.

  10. cara says:

    My animals are more “people” then the humans I know! They’re much more honest and real”er”.

    My best wishes to Mickey as he gets through this.

  11. Roma says:

    My dog was a young puppy when I broke up with my husband. One time after I had fallen asleep sobbing, I awoke to all of her toys piled on my bed around my head. She must have brought them to me one at a time, hoping that they’d make me feel better. I’ve since gone through the breakup of another long term relationship, and she just laid by my feet for the few weeks I didn’t want to leave the couch.

    Dogs just know. I can’t imagine how sad Mickey must be feeling.

  12. clare says:

    My sympathies to Mickey.

  13. Nony says:

    I’ve been there, but it was a horse. *sniffle*

  14. barneslr says:

    Roma, that is such a sweet story…what a great dog…and a great dog mom you must be for your pup to love you so much!

  15. Baholicious says:

    Roma, that is such a touching story, thank-you because it made my day! 🙂

  16. maxi says:

    all the posts from animal lovers who KNOW for a fact that their pet has taken care of them at one time or another are making me cry because i have had the same thing happen to me. when my big black cat named fudge crawled up on my chest and put both his paws on each side of my face it was to comfort me. i have taken in so many helpless animals and there is no better feeling in the world than to see them respond to true love and respect from a human. LONG LIVE ALL THE LOKIs OUT THERE! (i also have an old black cat we found years ago my son named loki…its a small world). i am truly sorry mickey, more of your love to share with your other dogs tho.

  17. maxi says:

    i forgot to say thanx for -all- the rourke/loki pix you included.

  18. Codzilla says:

    Roma: What a wonderful story!

    Mickey: Hang in there. Loki will be there when you take the big prize you so richly deserve on Sunday.

  19. Jacqueline says:

    this is a truly moving account; poor ol Mickey- I do so hope he finds love again soon with someone genuine. The pictures are great, thanks, and it’s good to see one of Mickey without the dark glasses- still those Mickey-eyes! Who would have ever thought that the hearthrob could have become so lonely and in despair.
    Yeh, where would we be without our pet/s especially when we’re beat. I cant keep a pet nowadays cos I can’t bear it when they die !!

  20. geronimo says:

    @Roma – so sweet and touching, your puppy story. Give her a big fat kiss from me! 🙂

  21. doodahs says:

    I’m so sad for him (and those of you who have shared your loss/animal comfort stories). I couldn’t live a day without my animals. I actually love him more for taking responsibility of his life enough to know that without him, the dogs he rescued would be without stability again. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that by him saving their lives, they saved his.

  22. BluePlanet says:

    Anyone who loves animals that much is a decent human being in my books.
    And kudos to the dogs for being good pals

  23. Elanenergy says:

    This just breaks my heart. I so, so, so understand the unconditional love of animals, and how they can save a person. Little Loki’s passing is so sad. I hope Mickey wins the Oscar….as weird as he has seemed, his story just melts my heart and what a redemption story it would be if he took home the statue on Sunday night. For Loki!!!

  24. Roma says:

    Awww, thank you for all the kind words towards my dog! She is the sweetest thing in my life… and this makes me want Mickey to win the Oscar even more.

  25. stellapurdy says:

    I can’t imagine a life without dogs. I have two that sat beside me when I curled up into a ball with a bottle tequila after finding out about my exes affair.

    I’m sorry for Mickey’s loss, he must be so sad.

    I’m off to hug my pups right now…

  26. Ruffian9 says:

    Not a fan of MR in general, but am a huge fan of those who cherish their pets(the anti-Paris Hilton approach, if you will). Kudos to Mickey, a heaven-hug for Loki.

  27. MonicaBee says:

    I haven’t seen a MR movie in years and years and years (if ever?!), but I’ve heard some great stuff about what’s out now.

    I can definitely sympathize with the rest of you (and MR) about losing a pet. My pets are the only kids I have (and they’re the only kids I will EVER have), and as such, they’re my life.

    My rottweiler is a registered pet therapy dog. It’s shocking to see how much of an impact an animal makes on some people. We visit an old folks home, and some of those people are unresponsive… until my dog walks up. Then they reach down to pet him. It’s some bittersweetness, that’s for sure.

  28. CB Rawks says:

    Such lovely stories of pets looking after you.
    I have that too actually. If I am ever crying my cat runs over to me and jumps into my lap and makes lots of little *burrrr* noises and rubs her face on mine. It’s such a comfort.

    And to tell a tale of heroism, once a wasp cornered me in the garden, and I was frozen with fear and it was hovering right in front of my face,
    and then suddenly my (previous) cat came flying through the air and fwapped it with her paw, and it died!
    So awesome!
    I was hugging and kissing her and she just looked mildly annoyed. 😀 “Let go of me, Mum.”

  29. ? says:

    That is so sweet. I completely understand that scenario, my dog kept me from doing so many horrible things to myself as a teenager.

  30. yasmin says:

    Awwwwwwwwwww…. Ive always felt impartial to Mickey but the way he is holding that dog in those pics… melts my heart! You can tell he really loves them, he is so gentle with that cutie which I am assuming is Loki. RIP Loki <3

  31. Kat says:

    Used to have a cat, who could not stand crying. Would run up in that person’s face and bite them on the nose. I know it stopped me from crying, more than once.

  32. barneslr says:

    He would bite them on the nose? That’s hilarious (unless you are the one getting bitten, I guess!).

    Ah, what would we do without our furbabies?