Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin (often billed as Rin-Tin-Tin in the 1920s and 1930s) was the name given to several related German Shepherd dogs featured in fictional stories on film, radio and television.
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Rin Tin Tin (often billed as Rin-Tin-Tin in the 1920s and 1930s) was the name given to a dog adopted from a WWI battlefield that went on to star in twenty-three Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame. The name was subsequently given to several related German Shepherd dogs featured in fictional stories on film, radio, and television.
1928 movie ad
5 Death and posthumous recognition
6 Successor Rin Tin Tins
9 Rin Tin Tin in popular culture
10 Early filmography
11 Rin Tin Tin Jr. filmography
12 Rin Tin Tin III filmography
14 External links
The first of the line (c. September 10, 1918 – August 10, 1932) was one of a litter of shell-shocked pups found by American serviceman Lee Duncan in a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorraine, then part of the German Empire, less than two months before the end of World War I. When Duncan found him on September 15, he was only 5 days old and nursing. The two pups from the litter that Duncan kept were named for finger puppets called Rintintin and Nénette that French children gave to the American soldiers as good luck charms. Duncan returned to the USA with them at war's end. Rin Tin Tin settled at his home in Los Angeles, California, though Nénette had earlier died. Rin Tin Tin was a dark sable color and had very dark eyes.
Nicknamed Rinty by his owner, the dog learned tricks and could leap great heights. He was filmed making an 11-foot leap at a dog show by Duncan's acquaintance Charles Jones, who had just developed a slow-motion camera. Seeing his dog being filmed, Duncan became convinced Rin Tin Tin could become the next Strongheart. He later wrote, "I was so excited over the motion-picture idea that I found myself thinking of it night and day."
The dog's big break came when he stepped in for a recalcitrant wolf in The Man From Hell's River (1922). Rin Tin Tin would be cast as a wolf or wolf-hybrid many times in his career, though he did not look like one.
His first starring role was in Where the North Begins (1923), playing alongside silent screen actress Claire Adams. This film was a huge success and has often been credited with saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. It was followed by Shadows of the North (1923), The Lighthouse by the Sea (1924), Clash of the Wolves (1925), The Night Cry (1926), A Dog of the Regiment (1927), Tracked by the Police (1927) and Tiger Rose (1929).
Legend indicates that Rin Tin Tin was nominated for Best Actor at the first Academy Award competition in 1929 however Emil Jannings actually won the Best Actor award for The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command Although primarily a star of silent films, Rin Tin Tin did appear in four sound features, including the 12-part Mascot Studios chapter-play The Lightning Warrior (1931), co-starring with Frankie Darro.
Warner Bros. got thousands of requests for pictures of Rinty, which were signed with a paw print and a line written by Duncan: "Most faithfully, Rin Tin Tin."
Between 1930 and 1955, "Rin Tin Tin" was heard in three different radio series, beginning April 5, 1930 with The Wonder Dog, in which the original Rin Tin Tin did his own sound effects until his death in 1932, when Rin Tin Tin, Jr. took over. This 15-minute program was broadcast Saturdays on the Blue Network at 8:15pm until March 1931 when it moved to 8:15pm on Thursdays.
In September 1930, the title changed from The Wonder Dog to Rin Tin Tin. Don Ameche and Junior McLain starred in the series, which ended June 8, 1933. With Ken-L Ration as a sponsor, the series continued on CBS from October 5, 1933 until May 20, 1934, airing Sundays at 7:45pm.
The final radio series was broadcast on Mutual from January 2, 1955 to December 25, 1955 a 30-minute program heard Sundays at 5pm. Sponsored by National Biscuit for Shredded Wheat and Milk-Bone, the series featured Rin Tin Tin's adventures with the 101st Cavalry. The show starred Lee Aaker (born 1943) as Rusty, James Brown (1920–1992) as Lieutenant Ripley "Rip" Masters and Joe Sawyer (1906–1982) as Sergeant Biff O'Hara.
Rin Tin Tin was much sought after and was signed for endorsement deals. He was featured in ads for Ken-L Ration, Ken-L-Biskit, and Pup-E-Crumbles.
In the 1920s, Rin Tin Tin's success for Warner Brothers inspired several imitations from other studios looking to cash in on his popularity, notably RKO's Ace the Wonder Dog, also a German Shepherd.
Death and posthumous recognition
Following Rin Tin Tin's death in August 1932 in Los Angeles (in the arms of actress Jean Harlow, according to Hollywood legend), his owner arranged to have the dog returned to his country of birth for burial in the Cimetière des Chiens, the renowned pet cemetery in the Parisian suburb of Asnières-sur-Sein
Couple Profile Source
Claim to Fame
Starred in twenty-three Hollywood films
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Lee Duncan (owner, Trainer)
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