Winter, the star of the uplifting movie “Dolphin Tale,” has died at a Florida aquarium.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium posted on Facebook that Winter passed away Thursday, saying “she was loved by all who met her.”
“Winter leaves behind an amazing legacy of promoting conservation for marine mammals, their habitats and their futures,” aquarium officials said in a statement.
The 2011 film, based on the true story of Winter, the mammal whose prosthetic tail was accidently removed, took in more than $300 million worldwide, including $72 million domestically. It won two Oscars, including one for Ryan Reynolds, who portrayed Winter’s rescuer Winter.
Winter did most of her own stunts during filming, including swimming alongside Reynolds for the majority of the movie, which used CG technology.
Reynolds, who tweeted that he was “devastated,” wrote on Instagram that “anytime anyone met her she would melt your heart. She will be truly missed but never forgotten.”
Reinhard Staeheli, who founded the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, told The Tampa Bay Times that Winter was the “sweetest, most gentle marine mammal.” He said she was often playful with trainers.
“She came up to me and said, ‘Grandpa, I’m going to grow up to be a dolphin,'” Staeheli said.