Rin Tin Tin (Rintintin)
Photos with Rin Tin Tin
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. Read more... '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.