Top 10 Best Dogs in Hollywood
Dogs have always had a big place on screen. At the first Oscars in 1929, it was rumored that Rin Tin Tin actually received the most votes for Best Actor (human Emil Jannings took home the actual trophy). Here is a list of the top 10 Hollywood dogs of all time:
Lassie first appeared in print in the novel Lassie Come Home in 1940. She made her motion picture debut in 1943 in the film of the same name (featuring a young Elizabeth Taylor). More Lassie films followed and from 1954 to 1973, the collie was the star of her own TV show, one of the longest-running in history. Lassie has appeared again in other movies and TV shows. 2005’s Lassie was the most recent time she appeared on the big screen. All the collies who played the female Lassie over the years were actually males, since male collies have a thicker coat, which looks better on camera.
Benji first appeared in the 1974 film of the same name. He went on to appear in several sequels and the 1980 Chevy Chase film Oh! Heavenly Dog. Benji was played by a shelter dog named Higgins. Higgins’ pups played Benji in later films.
3. Rin Tin Tin
The original Rin Tin Tin was born in 1918. A German Shepherd puppy, he was saved from a French kennel by an American soldier at the end of World War I. After the war, Rinty went to Los Angeles with his new owner, and before long had entered the town business: the movies. Able to do extraordinary tricks, Rin Tin Tin became a national phenomenon and one of the most popular movie stars of the 1920s and a popular radio star through the 1950s. Still a subject of fascination, he recently was the subject of Susan Orlean’s 2011 book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend. Also worth mentioning is that Rin Tin Tin is Cesar’s favorite on the list!
The Jack Russell Terrier who belonged to Frasier Crane’s father on Frasier was played by Moose. He was a re-homed pet who had become too much for his original owner and was adopted by a trainer in Los Angeles. His son Enzo also played Eddie on Frasier and both dogs appeared as Skip in the 2000 film My Dog Skip.
Marley was the title character in John Grogan’s 2005 novel Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. The story about Grogan’s misadventures with his yellow Labrador retriever was a huge bestseller and a hit film version starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston was released in 2008. A direct-to-video prequel Marley & Me: the Puppy Years was released in 2011.
Buddy, played by Air Buddy, a golden retriever, was the basketball-playing star of the 1997 hit Air Bud. He went on to try football in Air Bud: Golden Receiver and play soccer, baseball, and volleyball in other direct-to-video sequels. Before making the jump to movies, Air Buddy played Comet on Full House.
This cartoon Great Dane, fond of Scooby Snacks and solving mysteries with a bunch of meddling kids, was a television staple from 1969 to 1991. The character’s name was inspired by Frank Sinatra singing “doo-bee-doo-bee-doo” from “Strangers in the Night”. A computer-generated Scooby-Doo appeared in two live-action movies in 2002 and 2004.
The misbehaving St. Bernard was the star of the hit Beethoven starring Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt and its hit sequel Beethoven’s 2nd as well as several direct-to-video sequels and a cartoon series. If you don’t blink during Beethoven’s 2nd, you can catch Cesar in a cameo as himself.
Dorothy’s Cairn terrier from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz was played by Terry, and was reportedly paid more than the Munchkins. First appearing in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Toto became so popular that Kansas (Dorothy’s home state) named the Cairn terrier the official state dog. There is a memorial for Terry (later legally renamed Toto) at the Hollywood Forever cemetery.
Chloe was the star of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, voiced by Drew Barrymore. On vacation with her wealthy owners in Mexico, Chloe is dognapped and, helped by some new resourceful dog friends, makes her way back to Beverly Hills, but not before she learns a few things. Chloe also appeared in a direct-to-video sequel.