Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Toto

link to picture

Today, marks the birthday of Terry, the dog who gave the ultimate canine tour de force performance as Toto in the Wizard of Oz and forever entered our national imagination becoming a symbol of the canine/child bond.   Born in 1933 Terry was owned by the famous dog trainer Carl Spitz who founded one of the first American dog training schools, The Hollywood Dog Training school, in 1927.  At the time The Wizard of Oz was made Terry was already a star having appeared in six films, including Bright Eyes  with Shirley Temple.  Terry was payed a 125 dollars a week for appearing in the Oz film, more then some of the human actors, and about five times the weekly salary of the average American during the Great Depression.  Of course like everyone involved in the film Terry will be forever associated with The Wizard of Oz and her role as Toto eclipsed all of her other work.  Spitz even officially changed her name to Toto in 1942.   


Terry, or Toto, died in in 1945 having made fifteen films, the last of which was Tortilla Flat based on the novel by John Steinbeck.  Toto was originally interred in a cemetery on Spitz's ranch, but eventually when the Ventura Freeway was expanded the property and cemetery where destroyed.  On June 18, 2011 a permanent memorial to Toto was erected in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery


 














16 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Terry! :D

    Sam

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  2. Aw! Now I am going to have Somewhere Over the Rainbow in my head all day!

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  3. Oh we didn't know any of those facts but we have also just seen Finns' comment and we now have in our head too. Like catching a cold. Drats. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  4. One of my favorite films and as you say, Toto is a permanent fixture in our American imagination.

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  5. I love that film, we are going to have to dig it out the box, and watch it again for the 100th time..LOL xx00xx
    Mollie and Alfie

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  6. Happy Birthday, Terry/Toto. My favorite movie of yours was the 1939 version of "The Women". You rocked!!!

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  7. What a beautiful rememberance to Toto on the 79 anniversary of his birth. A very smart little dog. My Bandit that passed on Tuesday was also a therapy dog and we did alot of training together too. I want to thank you for coming by and expressing condolences in his passing.

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  8. How interesting! I love learning new historical facts on your blog!
    Stewey

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  9. I didn't know about Terry/Toto but sounds like she was amazing! Happy birthday!

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  10. Dear Urban Hounds & Family,

    I apologize for my delay in writing this to you but thank you for taking the time to stop by Suka's blog and write such warm and kind words of sympathy. Your thoughtful, heartfelt comments really touched me and meant a lot to me. It also helps in my grief to know that others understand and care. Thank you.

    Suka really enjoyed visiting your blog and getting to know the Urban Hounds. He loved all the photos, your exciting and interesting posts, and reading of the fun city adventures. I am sorry we did not know you longer but in the short time we did we truly enjoyed your blog.

    I am sorry to read you were effected by the storm Sandy and I hope you, your family, and your friends are all o.k. Thank you again for being such good friends to Suka.

    Warmly,

    KrisAnne, Suka's human

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  11. aaahhh, Happy Birthday to ToTo. We had a best friend Niko who looked like ToTo
    Snorts,
    Benny & Lily

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  12. How sweet, Happy Birthday Terry! He was a cute little pup, wasn't he!
    Dip Bridge and Elliot x

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  13. One of the most famous dogs ever! Happy birthday Terry/Toto!

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  14. Happy Birthday Toto/Terry from another Dorothy! :-) Hope you are enjoying your big party "Somewhere over the Rainbow" Bridge!

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  15. There are plenty of actors who would envy this pup's body of work :-)

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