Rin Tin Tin (1918–1932) Actor


Category:  Pets & Animals

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  5 years ago  •  3 comments

By:   IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Stevens

Rin Tin Tin (1918–1932) Actor
A dark-coated German Shepherd dog, he made his first film in 1923 and was the world's biggest box-office draw by 1926.

You've seen military dogs trained to save lives, this dog was rescued from the WW1 battlefields, was trained to be an actor, became a star and saved a famous Hollywood studio.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Rin Tin Tin (1918–1932) Actor


The first 'Rin Tin Tin', who along with his heirs starred in numerous films and television series, was discovered during World War I, September 15, 1918, by US Air Corporal Lee Duncan and his battalion in Lorraine, France. At a bombed out dog kennel, Duncan found a mother Shepherd Dog and her scrawny litter of five pups. Duncan chose two of the dogs, a male and female, while members of his group took the mother and the others back to camp. The only survivors over the next few months were the two pups Duncan had claimed, naming them 'Rin Tin Tin' and 'Nannette' after tiny French puppets the French children would give to the American soldiers for good luck.

When the war ended, Duncan made special arrangements to take his pups back to his home in Los Angeles, but during the Atlantic crossing, Nannette became ill and died, shortly after arriving in America. In 1922, Duncan and Rin Tin Tin attended an LA dog show, with 'Rinty' performing for the crowd by jumping 13 ½ feet. Following the show, producer Darryl Zanuck asked Duncan if he could try out his new 'moving pictures' camera on the dog and paid $350 to film Rinty in action.

Contacting every studio in Hollywood with a Rin Tin Tin -starring script "Where The North Begins", Duncan unexpectedly stumbled onto a low-budget, Warner Bros (Vitaphone) film crew having difficulty shooting an exterior scene with a wolf. Duncan quickly approached the director and told them that Rinty could do the scene in one take. True to his word, Duncan's 'wonder' dog did the scene in one take and both were hired for the entire shoot of "Man From Hells River". The film was a hit and Rin Tin Tin was a sensation, making 26 pictures for Warners while starring in his own live 1930s radio show "The Wonder Dog".

At the peak of his popularity, Warners maintained 18 trained stand-ins to reduce any stress on their dog star, while providing Rinty with a private chef who prepared daily lunches of tenderloin steak (consumed as live classical music was played to help ease the dog's digestion.) Rin Tin Tin died in 1932 at the age of 14, returned to his birthplace in France, and interred in "The Cimetière des Chiens (et Autres Animaux Exotiques)" in the suburb of Asnieres.

Today, Rin Tin Tin's continuous bloodline carries on at a Texas kennel, where a litter of 8-11 pups are born each year.


On 15 September 1918 US Air Corps Cpl.  Lee Duncan  discovered a half-starved dog and her five puppies--just five days old--in a blasted dugout on a World War I battlefield in France. Duncan tried to take the puppies, whom he named Nanette and Rin Tin Tin, back to the US but only Rinty survived the trip.

A dark-coated German Shepherd dog, he made his first film in 1923 and was the world's biggest box-office draw by 1926.

He got his own radio show, "The Wonder Dog," in 1930, doing his own sound effects

Warner Bros. Pictures, saved from bankruptcy by the success of his films, maintained 18 trained stand-ins in order to reduce the strain on their star.

After he became a box-office star, he merited a private chef who prepared his daily lunch of tenderloin steak--which he consumed as an ensemble played classical music to help his digestion.

On the day he died in 1932, just a month shy of 14, he was no longer strong enough to go to his master's side.  Jean Harlow , who lived across the street, came over and cradled his head in her lap as he died. Years before  Lee Duncan  had given her one of Rinty's first puppies.

By 1926 was earning $6000 a week.

According to legend, in the very first year of voting for the Oscars, Rinty received more votes than any other actor, but to avoid any embarrassment, the Academy eventually decided to award he first Best Actor to a human thespian,  Emil Jannings .

French names of the puppets: "Nénette" and "Rintintin". Puppets possibly created by painter Francisque Poulbot in 1913.

Father of  Rin Tin Tin Jr. . Grandfather of  Rin Tin Tin III . Great-great-great-grandfather of  Prince The Dog .

Mentioned in Pardon Us (1931).

Trainer Lee Duncan said about his training, "Rin-tin-tin has never been whipped and the wonderful things this dog accomplishes on the screen are accomplished through kindness and instruction--but never with the whip. Even in scenes where [he] is supposed to be beaten, I never permit a whip to touch the dog".

About the first film he made with the dog, trainer Lee Duncan said, "At first the dog did not know he was watching pictures of himself, but when it dawned on him his tail wagged ferociously".


jrDiscussion - desc
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    5 years ago

I've known about Rin Tin Tin since I was a toddler - my grandmother had a bronze figure of him in her living room:


charger 383
Professor Silent
2  charger 383    5 years ago

Rin Tin Tin, a great dog. It is good his line continues.  I wondered where his name came from.  

Professor Principal
3  Kavika     5 years ago

Rin Tin Tin, loved that dog and the stories.

Great article Buzz.


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