Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Winter, the hit movie character from “Dolphin Tale,” has died at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, the owners announced on their Facebook page Thursday.
The beloved cast member was 12.
“It is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news that Winter, star of the Dolphin Tale movie franchise, has passed away at the age of 12,” the post read.
The talented 13-year-old had a long-standing battle with sickle cell anemia and was “facing treatments after treatment.”
Winter, who starred in the movie “Dolphin Tale” as Winter, has died in Clearwater, Florida. Credit: Take Earth/Ken Mehlman/WireImage
“With the continued support of our incredible staff and others, and without the assistance of any show animals, Winter fell asleep in her belly,” the post continued. “Her legacy will live on. She was a true hero.”
She was joined in “Dolphin Tale” by Winter and Winter’s mother Hope. The film’s lead stars, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, joined loved ones to pay tribute to her on Thursday.
When asked by CNN if she felt her movie had saved the lives of any dolphins, Sloan Alli Bennett, the captain of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded: “I don’t feel we saved any dolphins. They were brought here to be saved. I don’t know if we saved the lives of any of them.”