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Canine Stars: From Rover to Cosmo
Posted May 04, 2011 to photo album "Canine Stars: From Rover to Cosmo"
Starting in 1905 when Rover rescued a baby, dogs have been cinema’s unsung heroes. We look at some of the finest.
Born in 1925, Pal, who later became better known as Pete the Dog, went on to star in a number of silent comedies before becoming the victim of a dark Hollywood mystery. Raised by Harry Lucenay, Pal was a Hollywood dog from the start, getting a cameo in Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman when he was just six months old. That same year he showed up as Tige in the Buster Brown’s Educating Buster. Pal, who was born with a nearly complete ring around his eye––permanent dye was applied to complete the circle––made a striking addition to classic comedy series. Pal went on to show up in more than 40 Buster Brown shorts before being picked by producer Hal Roach to play the dog in his “Our Gang” comedy series for the short “Olympic Games.” Pal/Petey was immediately signed to a three-year contract with six-month options with a starting salary at $125 per week. He went on to make 13 more “Our Gang” films before tragedy struck. Pal was murdered on set when he ate meat into which someone had added ground glass. No suspects were identified, and no one was brought to justice, even though the young actors in the series were heartbroken by the dog’s sudden demise. The “Our Gang” series continued with Pal’s son Pete the Dog (with a ring drawn on his eye to copy his father’s look).