Monday, November 21, 2011

Dog of the Geek: Rin Tin Tin!

Rin_Tin_Tin_005-01Breed: German Shepherd

Original Appearances: The Man from Hell's River (1922), Where the North Begins (1923) and many, many other films.

Other Appearances: Radio and television, including Rin Tin Tin: K9 Cop, a rebranding of the Canadian TV series Katts and Dog, at least one issue of a Dell comic book.

Biography: The first Rin Tin Tin was a shell-shocked pup found by American serviceman Lee Duncan in a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorrain France. Duncan named the dog after a puppet that French children gave to the American soldiers for good luck. Rinty's first screen role was playing a wolf in The Man from Hell's River (1922), the first of many parts in which he played a dog-wolf hybrid. His first starring role was Where the North Begins, and went on to a succession of other silent movies. Rinty also appeared in four sound movies, including a serial. He's often been credited as saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy! Rinty appeared in radio (with several dogs portraying him) between 1930 and 1955, with Rinty playing himself until 1932, when he died in Los Angeles. According to Hollywood legend, Rinty doed in the arms of Jean Harlow. Rinty was buried in Paris, and honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Rin Tin Tin Jr. took over the radio program in 1932, and appeared in several short films in the 1930s. Rin Tin Tin III starred in the film The Return of Rin Tin Tin in 1947, and Rin Tin Tin IV was featured in the TV show The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, on ABC from 1954 to 1959. All these Rintys were bred from the original Rinty's bloodline, and this continues today, with the dogs being bred at El Rancho Rin Tin Tin in Latexo, Texas. The current Rinty is Rin Tin Tin X, while other line dogs are trained as service dogs for special needs children.

Powers: None

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: Check out the Rin Tin Tin website at for more details about Rinty, although when I wrote this entry in July, it was down for repairs. Rin Tin Tin was parodied in the film Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood.

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