BENNINGTON - An actor and supporter of many worthy animal-related causes, Jonathan Goldsmith of Manchester will be the guest speaker at the 55th Annual Meeting of Second Chance Animal Center.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 14, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church in Bennington. The public is invited to attend and light refreshments will be available.

Jonathan Goldsmith is best known as "The Most Interesting Man in the World," a character he plays in the television commercials for Dos Equis beer.

He will discuss his dogs, his work to fund a cure for canine cancer, his careers in advertising and show business and other facets of a life well-lived.

Prior to his advertising career, Goldsmith had established himself as an actor in Western films. In the 1976 film "The Shootist," he played a villain who was shot between the eyes by hero John Wayne. Goldsmith also made guest appearances on 45 television series, including such classics as "The Rockford Files," "Hawaii Five-O," "Murder She Wrote," "Dynasty," and "Magnum, P. I." His longest run was on "Dallas," in which he appeared 17 times.

However, Goldsmith loves dogs and has been helping to raise funds for the Denver-based Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in animal health science, to support canine cancer research and improve the health of dogs. The foundation has helped fund 150 canine cancer studies in 28 colleges and universities.

"The nicest thing about so-called celebrity status is to be able to call attention to the things you believe in," he said it a recent interview.

Goldsmith has two Anatolian shepherds and lost a third dog to canine cancer.

He recently made an online commercial with his dog Willy as part of a campaign by The Orvis Company to raise money to fight cancer in dogs.

Half of all dogs will develop cancer and one in four will die from it.

Fortunately in recent years veterinary scientists have made tremendous strides in the area of canine cancer research. Recent studies have led to new tools for scientists studying canine cancer but there is much more work to be done. This is the reason The Orvis Company has partnered with Morris Animal Foundation.

Besides his support of canine cancer research, Goldsmith is an advocate for landmine victim support and serves on the board of Clear Path International, a landmine victim assistance group. He has also supported the S. A. B. R. E. Foundation, whose mission is to protect and preserve the Siberian Tiger. His other charitable causes are Free Arts for Abused Children, which pairs artists with children in protective custody, and the Stella Link Foundation, a group calling attention to child sex trafficking in Cambodia.