Q: Who is credited as the first major canine film star?


To commemorate “Good Dogs in Movies” and as a sponsor of The NY Dog Film Festival, we wanted to know which canine actor paved the way as the first major canine film star.

canine film star strongheart

By Arthur Rice, photographer – J. Willis Sayre Photograph Collection; published in Photoplay, December 1921 (page 48), Public Domain

Answer: Strongheart became the first major canine film star, preceding the fame of Rin Tin Tin by two years.

Born October 1, 1917, Etzel von Oeringen was a male German Shepherd dog. Etzel was seen by film director Laurence Trimble. Trimble recognized Etzel’s potential and persuaded Jane Murfin, a screenwriter for his films, to buy the dog. A new name, Strongheart, was suggested by the publicity department of First National Pictures, which released his first film.

Source The New York Times


Be sure to listen to the April 1, 2017 episode of NPR radio show, Dog Talk® which featured Goodnewsforpets founder, Lea-Ann Germinder kicking off the sponsorship and “Good Dogs in Movies” promotion with a giveaway!


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