Collie Movie Stars, Entertainers and Mascots

  • Blair with the Hepworths in Rescued by Rover
  • The first canine movie star was a collie named  Blair. Blair was the star of Cecil Hepworth’s six and a half minute film in 1905, Rescued by Rover. In the film, “Rover,” must rescue a baby who has been stolen from her maid by a gypsy. He trails them to an attic hideout, then races home to bring the infant’s father (Hepworth) back to save her. Most of the footage is devoted to the dog’s brave journey, a brand new concept in film at the time. Hepworth cast his own wife, who also wrote Rescued by Rover, and baby daughter for the film, as well as the family dog, Blair.
  • In 1938, Lassie debuted in a short story called “Lassie Come Home” in the Saturday Evening Post. Lassie went on to appear in radio, film and TV shows for over 75 years, and was included on Variety Magazine’s list of Top 100 icons of the century in 2005. In 1960, Lassie was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Click here for a more detailed timeline.
  •  In 1971 a rough collie stared in the John Wayne movie Big Jake. The collies playing a dog named “Dawg” were actually 2 Weatherwax collies named Silver and Laddie. Their coats had been dyed for the part.
  • During the late 1800’s to early 1900’s people in London were often entertained by Professor Duncan’s Marvelous Collie Dogs, also known as Duncan’s Royal Scotch Collies.
  • For 44 years, Florence Martus (1868–1943), aka “the Waving Girl”, took it upon herself to be the unofficial greeter of all ships that entered and left the Port of Savannah, Georgia. From her rustic home on Elba Island, Martus would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night, with a collie by her side.