Greetings from T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina.
Have you ever heard of a cross-eyed lion? Well, in 1965, a lion named Clarence was the star of his own movie called Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion and in 1966, a weekly television series debuted based on that movie called Daktari.
Clarence wasn’t the first animal to star in a movie and then a TV series, back in 1923, Warner Brothers was on the verge of bankruptcy when they released a film called Where the North Begins, the 2nd film featuring a talented German Shepard named Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a battlefield during WWI by an American soldier named Lee Duncan. The movie was a huge success and saved the studio from going under.
From 1923 until his death in 1932, Rin Tin Tin appeared in 23 films, Rin Tin Tin II continued along with Rin Tin Tin III to appear in movies and a weekly radio program, and in 1954, Rin Tin Tin IV was the star of a weekly television show.
But the granddaddy of all animal stars was Lassie. The first time mention of a dog named Lassie was in print in the 1859 book The Half Brothers. The lassie that inspired the fictional lassie of the movies was actually a half-breed collie that saved the life of a sailor in 1915 after his boat had been torpedoed. The sailor was thought to be dead and was laid out awaiting burial when Lassie began licking his face and reviving him.
A pure-bread collie was named Lassie and went on to star in several feature films. Various generations of Lassies continued her legacy as she had her own radio program and was a staple on television for nearly 20 years.
If you love animals and want to learn more about preserving them, come and visit us at T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, we have lots of interesting stories too! – By Dan Defreest