Strongheart was the first dog “movie star” to appear in dramatic
roles. The handsome German shepherd was fast and strong; smart and capable and always managed to save the day, thereby setting the stage for Rin-Tin-Tin and all those that followed.
The dogs that had preceded Strongheart in Hollywood were ones like Luke who appeared in comedies with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton in comedies. Jean, the Vitagraph dog, was an exception. She appeared in both comedies and dramas but her role was always that of canine companion. (Jean, too, had been trained by Laurence Trimble who trained Strongheart.) Continue reading