Whatever Happened To Duke, The Adorable Mascot Of Bush's Baked Beans
Photo By YouTube/Bush's Beans

Whatever Happened To Duke, The Adorable Mascot Of Bush's Baked Beans?

Behind every brand is a mascot, person, or logo you can immediately identify. Mickey Mouse? Disney. Golden Arches? McDonald's. Duke? Bush's Best (which I'll refer to as "Bush's" going forward because it's easier)!

Duke is the beloved brown canine that stole the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. With his fluffy coat and Bush's bandana, Duke boldly took to the screen — always trying to reveal the secret recipe of Bush's delicious beans. Was Duke a little terrifying? Yes. That tends to happen when you try to make animals speak as humans do.

But Duke was a lovable scamp all the same. Whatever happened to Duke, though?

The Mystery Of Duke, Bush's Ever-Living Mascot

To all my fellow animal lovers, I'm so, so sorry for the news I'm about to break to you. Duke, the character, is immortal. He's the spirit of capitalism, where the Bush's brand will use his likeness for years to come. Bush's celebrated 30 years of beans recently, and Duke will be around for 30 more.

The revolving door of dogs that have assumed the role of Duke throughout the years, however? They aren't quite as lucky.

Per PEOPLE, "Duke" died back in 2018. Well, one "iteration" of him, anyway.

Not only did poor Sam pass away, but he was also suffering from an aggressive cancer to further shatter anyone with a heart. Sam, of course, was Duke #5 in Bush's "cute brown dog" rotation.

I suppose you could call Sam "Duke Prime" as Sam seems to have been the most prominent pup to portray the mascot in the eyes of the public. However, the original Duke passed away in the early 2000s.

When PEOPLE spoke to Jay Bush, who would often co-star alongside Bush's Duke in the commercials, Jay confirmed that real-life Duke was once his family dog. "He was a little camera shy," Jay said, "so using him was not an option. But the premise is genuine."

So, Is Bush's Beans Duke Dead?

At the question's most dystopian level, no. "Duke" the Bastion of Bush's Beans will never "die." If they ever run out of cute brown dogs, Bush's would likely utilize CGI — ensuring that Duke ultimately outlives us all.

Truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if Bush's didn't already use a CGI Duke for their commercials — at least to some degree. If I'll leave you on one note, it's this one: please hug your nearest pet.