“Toto”: A Famous Dog, More Famous than We Realize


Written by: Phil Monahan

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Terry in her most memorable role as Toto, with Judy Garland

We all know and love this purebred Cairn Terrier in her role as Toto, but Terry (her real name) had many other roles before and after her mixing it up with a conman wizard, a witch with a fear of water, a dancing scarecrow, and a gang of lollipop kids.

 

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 Terry in Bright Eyes with Jane Withers (l) and Shirley Temple (r)

 

Terry, born in 1933, also appeared in Ready for Love, Dark Angel, Fury, The Buccaneer, Tortilla Flat and many other films. She “worked” for director Cecil B. DeMille and co-starred with Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, John Garfield, and Spencer Tracey. That is the kind of company most actors and actresses would kill for in Tinsel Town.

 

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 Terry held by Franciska Gaal in The Bucaneer, a Cecil B. DeMille picture

 

Terry was trained by Carl Spitz who trained many other dogs at his Laurel Canyon spread. It is unclear if audiences of the time realized that the terrier in most films was the same actress, or if the audiences knew it was Terry, the canine character actor of her time. She passed away in 1944.

 

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Terry appeared in Bad Little Angel with Virginia Weidler

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