The saying goes, ‘never work with children or animals’. That may be so, but when it comes to the movies, it’s not only A Listers who have hogged the spot on the red carpet over the years. A fair amount of canine stars have also topped the bill.
Here are just some of the famous pooches that you may recognise who have graced the silver screen.
You younger readers may not recall Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd who captivated audiences starring in 26 movies for the Warner Brothers Studios. However he is certainly worthy of mention because not only was Rin Tin Tin immensely popular amongst film goers, but he was also one of the top canine earners, taking home $6,000 per week, which in todays money is a staggering $78,000 a week! In fact, Rin Tin Tin earned so much money for Warner Brothers that he became one of the key players in keeping the studio from filing bankruptcy back in the 1930′s. Interestingly, not only was Rin Tin Tin a film star, but he was also a war hero rescued from a WW1 battlefield by American soldier Lee Duncan. Lee named him Rinty and is credited with his training.
Everyone has heard of the loveable and loyal collie named ‘Lassie’. The original Lassie was actually a dog named Pal who featured in 6 films before retiring in 1950. Pal replaced a bitch who was earmarked for the series, but was unable to manage the required stunts.
Pal was also a top earner taking home $4,000 a week which today equates to £51,000 a week! Pal passed away in 1958 when he was 18 years old. However, that wasn’t the end of the Lassie franchise. Pal became the first in a very long line of collies who would go on to play Lassie.
Moose from the sit com ‘Fraiser’
Moose is the well-known Jack Russell terrier who played the dog Eddie on Frasier and earned an impressive $10,000 for each episode. A nice little earner when you think he appeared on 192 episodes of the show! It is said that at the height of the shows popularity, Moose was receiving more fan male than any of his human counterparts. When Moose started getting older, his son Enzo replaced him as Eddie. Moose eventually passed away in 2006, when he was 15, due to natural causes.
Marley from the film ‘Marley and Me’
There were actually 22 different dogs that were used for filming Marley and Me. Half of them were puppies and a few were stunt dogs, however the star of the film was a dog named Clyde. It took the trainers more than a year to find a dog with the ‘over the top’ energy that makes Marley, well, Marley!
Clyde turned out to be a true star with the kind of ad-libbing qualities reserved for the naturally gifted actor. Well, when we say ad-libbing, we mean that his on screen kisses were often not written into the script! Look out for the spot in the movie where Clyde gives a big wet dog kiss to Owen Wilson. Wilson looks surprised because he actually is – he had no idea that the dog kiss was coming! This natural affection made for a convincing relationship between actor Owen Wilson and his on screen buddy.
Pudsey the dancing dog
Pudsey and his devoted young trainer Ashleigh Jade Butler, captured the hearts of the nation when they performed and went on to win Britain’s got talent in 2012. The great man himself Simon Cowell said, “Pudsey is one of the best dancing dogs I have ever seen”.
Pudsey, the Border Collie, Bichon Frise and Chinese Crested cross, and his owner have racked up over a million pounds in earnings since winning the show.
You may since have seen Pudsey and Ashleigh in a number of television shows. They have also appeared in several pantos. The duo also featured on the US chat show circuit as well as cutting a book deal to write an autobiography, or an autobidography, as it was dubbed. Pudsey also went on to star in a film and meet countless celebrities such as Kanye West.
Does my dog have a face for TV?
So now you may be pondering the thought of introducing your own adorable pooch to the ranks of film and TV. However it’s not enough to just have a cute pet. Your dog will need to be trained to a very high standard and ideally posses a unique quality. Even then, breaking onto the big screen is tough, but not impossible.
If you would like more information on what is required, read what the experts have to say at: www.hollywoodpaws.com/faq.htm