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Seabiscuit star passes away at 24

Popcorn Deelites, who played the titular role of Seabiscuit in the 2003 Tobey Maguire drama, has passed away aged 24

The star of the Oscar-nominated drama movie Seabiscuit has passed away, aged 24. Popcorn Deelites had a moderate racing career before achieving Hollywood fame. He had been enjoying a long retirement at Old Friends Farm since 2005 with his father – with the even better name of Afternoon Deelites.

Popcorn was known to his friends as Pops and he could count among them his Seabiscuit co-stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks. “Pop’s Hollywood history made him an enormous fan favourite, of course,” said Michael Blowen, the founder and president of Old Friends Farm, in a statement. “But what really won people over was his warm personality and friendly demeanor. Fans adored him and he adored the fans.”

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who portrayed legendary rider George Woolf in Seabiscuit, made a statement of his own in memory of the horse. “Popcorn Deelites was a star in Seabiscuit,” said Stevens, who is now a racing analyst for Fox Sports. “He was my go-to guy in all the big scenes. He not only won real races multiple times, but he won the famous match race playing Seabiscuit. He was kind, fast, and a great friend that lived out his life at Old Friends.”

Before donning the red-and-blue spandex as the web-shooting wall-crawler Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, Tobey Maguire appeared in many critically-acclaimed awards-friendly dramas. There were mostly set in the past, like Seabiscuit, and also included; The Ice Storm, Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules and Wonder Boys.

Seabiscuit was nominated for Best Picture, as well as six other Oscars. It is based on a true story, of a racehorse who many dismissed as being too small, but he went on to great success during the Great Depression.

If you’re a fan of Seabiscuit, check out our guide to the best drama movies.