Hollywood Dogs: Six of the Biggest and Best

There are so many lovable dogs that have starred in movies it would be next to impossible to make a “Best of” list.

Here are six of the most famous with the first three: Strong heart, Rin Tin Tin and Lassie being the only ones so far, with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Strongheart280x220Strongheart

A German Shepherd who was originally a German police dog, Strongheart was the world’s first big-time dog star. He lived from 1917-1929 and paved the way for Rin Tin Tin and every dog actor to follow. Strongheart dog food which was produced up until recently in the early 21st century was named for him. He appeared in the first adaptation of the popular White Fang movie in 1925 and died from a tumor which formed after brushing against a movie light on a set in 1929.

 

rin tin tin280x220Rin Tin Tin

Also a German Shepherd, he was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier and went on to stardom in Hollywood. Rin Tin Tin lived from 1918-1932, yet his name has lived on much longer. He was originally trained to star in silent films, eventually starring in 27 Hollywood films and becoming an international star. He was, along with Strongheart, hugely responsible for the popularity of German Shepherds as family pets. Several related dogs were named after him and also starred in movies into the late 50s.

pal280x220Pal (Lassie)

Lassie was a fictional Rough Collie character from a short story by Eric Knight which was later made into the successful movie called Lassie Come Home. There was also an 1859 short story The Half Brothers which featured a collie named Lassie who was loved only by her young master and guided adults to save two lost boys in a snowstorm. Lassie was played first by Pal who went on to appear under the stage name Lassie in six more movies through 1951. Pal and then a succession of her descendants appeared in radio, television, books and every other possible media even up to today. ”What is it girl? Is Timmy stuck in a well” has become a popular catch phrase and joke after Lassie saved Timmy, week in and week out on the popular Lassie Television show.

terry280x220Terry (Toto)

Born on November 17, 1933, Terry was a Cairn Terrier who became famous as Toto; actually having her name changed to Toto in 1942 after her amazing turn in the Wizard of Oz. She was paid $125 per week for the Wizard of Oz and made more than many of the human actors. Her first film was Ready for Love in 1934 and she also appeared with Shirley Temple that same year. Her foot was broken on the set of Oz when an actor stepped on her foot. She recovered at Judy Garland’s home and Judy did try, to no avail to adopt her. Her last film was Tortilla Flat in 1942 and she passed away at the age of 11 in 1945 after appearing in 16 movies.

moose280x220Moose (Eddie the Dog)

Born in 1996, Moose was one of the few dog stars who played a part with another name; Moose was known as Eddie the Dog on the hugely popular Frasier comedy series. He was the pet of Frasier’s dad and was known for the frequent licking scenes. The actors had sardine oil or other substances smeared on their faces to prompt the licking. It was said Moose, or Eddie as he was known, received more fan mail than any other actor on the show. He passed away in 2006

 

uggie280x220Uggie

Uggie, a Jack Russell Terrier born in 2002 was the star, alongside Jean Dujardin in the Oscar-winning move The Artist where he showed off his uncanny trick of playing dead while really hamming it up. He went on to star in Water for Elephants with Robert Pattinson. He was known for showing up at celebrity events in and around Hollywood. He died in 2015 of prostate cancer at the ripe old age of 13.

 

images courtesy Wikipedia

Meet the Author: Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan is a full-time musician along with a humor, travel and outdoor recreation columnist. He's also an avid skier and golfer and has traveled extensively around the U.S, the Caribbean and Europe. His musical career takes him all over the U.S. and his wife drags him everywhere else. His weekly columns “The Life of Ryan” ran in the Transcript and Sentinel newspaper chain for several years and have been featured in the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Mile High Magazine. He is the co-founder, editor and humor columnist for ColoradoLocalLegends.com and currently resides in Morrison, Colorado.

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