With a breed as loyal and beautiful as the Lhasa Apso, it’s no wonder that they’ve attracted many celebrity owners. Here are some of the most famous:

  • Let’s start with animated cartoons. In the old Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, superhero Firestar has a Lhasa Apso named Ms. Lion. Apparently, the scriptwriters knew how Lhasa Apsos think of themselves. In the Simpsons, Lhasa Apsos have appeared at least twice, once in an episode where Homer moved out of the house, and Milhouse apparently owns one, as well.
  • Reality TV personality Bethenny Frankel, who also founded Skinnygirl Cocktails and had her own talk show, has an adorable Lhasa Apso named Cookie. Interestingly, she prefers to have Cookie’s coat cut short, rather than the traditional long length.
  • Glee star Jane Lynch has a Lhasa Apso named Olivia, named after the famous singer Olivia Newton-John. Jane also has another puppy and some kittens in her household, and she’s known to be an avid animal supporter.  
  • Singer, The Voice judge, and fashion icon Gwen Stefani had a Lhasa Apso named Meggan. Apparently, because Meggan followed Gwen everywhere (we know that bit, right Lhasa Apso owners?), she was given a nickname, Lamb, based on the children’s nursery rhyme.
  • LGBT celebrity and talk show host Ellen Degeneres may have played a fish in animated movies, but she’s a Lhasa Apso owner in real life.
  • Flamboyant pianist Liberace, of course, had a Lhasa Apso. No word on if it also had many costume changes.
  • The grand actress Elizabeth Taylor was a Lhasa Apso owner.
  • Serious literary figure and writer Kurt Vonnegut was said to love Lhasa Apsos as well.
  • The late Peggy Guggenheim, from the Guggenheim family of New York, was a socialite and art collector who had various photos taken of her with her beloved Lhasa Apsos – known at the time as Lhasa Apso terriers.
  • The late Queen Sofia of Spain was also a Lhasa Apso lover, showing a love for the breed that would probably be comparable for Queen Elizabeth’s love of Corgis. The royal bearing of the Lhasa Apso breed suited Queen Sofia’s dignified manner well.
  • Finally, we have the highest of highs when it comes to having a Lhasa Apso as a companion: The line of the Dalai Lama. Apparently, Dalai Lamas do have their own kennel, so to speak, of Lhasa Apsos. It’s no surprise to see at least one or two Lhasa Apsos in relaxed photos of the various Dalai Lamas. Moreover, in their beliefs, the spirit of the Dalai Lama sometimes takes residence in his Lhasa Apsos for a time after death!


This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s February 2018 issue.