Roy Kabat, who taught lions how to star in films, cougars how to snarl for television commercials and lastly and more importantly dogs to help keep deaf people from harm, has died in Medford, Ore., headquarters of his Dogs for the Deaf.
Kabat was 65 and had a lengthy history of kidney ailments. He died Oct. 30 but his death went unreported until this week.
Kabat trained the animals in "Dr. Doolittle," "Swiss Family Robinson," Elsa the lioness in "Born Free" and the cougar for Mercury automobile commercials. He also produced such syndicated children's TV shows as "Chucko the Clown" and "Circus."
He retired from the entertainment industry in 1971, moving to Oregon and there founded Dogs for the Deaf. Dogs were trained to respond to ringing doorbells, jangling telephones, buzzing smoke alarms and tea kettles that had boiled themselves dry.