Pal
Pal in 1942
Other name(s)"Lassie"
SpeciesDog
BreedRough Collie
SexMale
BornJune 4, 1940
Glamis Kennels in
North Hollywood, California, United States
DiedJune 18, 1958(1958-06-18) (aged 18)
Rudd Weatherwax's home in North Hollywood, California, United States
OccupationActor
Years active1943–1954
Term1943–1954
SuccessorLassie Junior
OwnerRudd Weatherwax
Parent(s)Red Brucie of Glamis
Bright Bauble of Glamis
OffspringLassie Junior

Pal (June 4, 1940 – June 18, 1958) was a male Rough Collie performer and the first in a line of such dogs to portray the fictional female collie Lassie in film, on radio, and on television. In 1992, The Saturday Evening Post said Pal had "the most spectacular canine career in film history".[1]

MGM films

Pal in his first screen appearance as Lassie in MGM's Lassie Come Home (1943), with Roddy McDowall as Joe Carraclough

Pal's big break into the movies came in 1943 during the filing of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Lassie Come Home. The studios had decided to use a show collie trained by Frank Inn in the movie. A decision was made to take advantage of a massive flooding of the San Joaquin River in central California in order to obtain some spectacular footage for the film. Pal performed exceptionally well and the scene was completed in one take. Weatherwax said director Fred M. Wilcox was so impressed with Pal during the sequence that he had "tears in his eyes." In response, producers released the female collie and hired Pal in her stead, reshooting the first six weeks of the filming with Pal now portraying Lassie.[2] Other sources say that the female collie was replaced because she began to shed excessively during shooting of the film in the summer.[3]

Legacy

In 2000, the Lassie trademark was sold by the eight remaining members of the Weatherwax family to Classic Media (which in 2012, Classic Media was acquired by DreamWorks Animation and renamed into DreamWorks Classics and ultimately became the property of trademarks' current owners, Universal Studios as of 2016). In 2004, Robert Weatherwax's personal contract to supply a dog to play the role of Lassie ended and neither side pursued a renewal. After several years of stand-in collies that were not related to the line, Classic Media contracted with Carol Riggins, who had been co-trainer with Robert Weatherwax, and her 9th generation dog HeyHey, who had played the role of Lassie during the last 13 episodes of the Canada Lassie series under the Weatherwax Trained Dogs banner. Carol Riggins continues today as the official owner and trainer of Lassie with another "Pal", a 10th generation direct descendant of the original Pal.

Pal was portrayed on the Snatch Game Of Love challenge during the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars by contestant Gottmik.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1943 Lassie Come Home Lassie Principal role
1945 Son of Lassie Laddie Principal role
1946 Courage of Lassie Bill Principal role
1948 Hills of Home Lassie Principal role
1949 The Sun Comes Up Lassie Principal role
1950 Challenge to Lassie Lassie Principal role
1951 The Painted Hills Shep Principal role

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1954 Lassie: "The Inheritance" Lassie Principal role
1955 Lassie: "The Well" Lassie Principal role

See also

References

  1. ^ The Saturday Evening Post, quoted in "Lassie a 'Lass-he'", Parade magazine, October 18, 1992, p. 22.
  2. ^ Miller, Ron (March 21, 1989). "Lassie comes home: A 7th-generation family asset returns to TV". Chicago Tribune. pp. Tempo section, pg. 1.
  3. ^ "Lassie a 'Lass-he'", Parade magazine, October 18, 1992, p. 22.