Rin Tin Tin was a male German Shepherd who was an international star in motion pictures.
He was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, Lee Duncan, who nicknamed him “Rinty”. Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and obtained silent film work for the dog.
Rin Tin Tin was an immediate box office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame. Along with the earlier canine film star Strongheart, Rin Tin Tin was responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of German Shepherd dogs as family pets.
Rin Tin Tin’s first starring role was in Where the North Begins (1923). This film was a huge success and has often been credited with saving Warner Bros. from bankruptcy. It was followed by 24 more screen appearances. Each of these films was very popular, making such a profit for Warner Bros. that Rin Tin Tin was called “the mortgage lifter” by studio insiders.
On August 10, 1932, Rin Tin Tin died.
In the United States, his death set off a national response. Regular programming was interrupted by a news bulletin. An hour long program about Rin Tin Tin played the next day.
In a ceremony February 8, 1960, Rin Tin Tin was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1627 Vine Street.