The Legacy of Rin Tin Tin Lives On

The legacy of Hollywood’s greatest canine legend lives on, as descendants of Rin Tin Tin continue to star in TV and movies.

Why all the fuss over this German Shepherd?

He's descended from the greatest dog in Hollywood history, a true screen legend named Rin Tin Tin.

"Rin Tin Tin was destined for greatness," said author Susan Orlean.

Orlean charts the dynamic dog's rise to greatness in her new book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend.

As depicted in the film Finding Rin Tin Tin,  Rin Tin Tin was a shell-shocked puppy found by an American serviceman in a bombed-out kennel in France in 1918, near the end of World War 1.

The serviceman, Lee Duncan, brought him home to California, and the legend began.

Rin Tin Tin was able to leap an astonishing 12 feet in the air, and his owner knew he had a very special dog.  

"He thought, there's something special about this dog. He's going to be a movie star," said Orlean.

Rin Tin Tin starred in one box-office smash after another; his bravery always saved the day.

"His face was so compelling. It was about trying to do the right thing, saving people," said Orlean.

He also saved the Warner Brothers studio from bankruptcy, and earned ten times as much as human actors!

"Rin Tin Tin lived in a luxurious dog kennel," said Orlean.

"He got ten thousand pieces of fan mail per week. This was in the 1930's, he wasn't even on Twitter!" said Carson Kressley.

When Rin Tin Tin died in 1932, the whole nation grieved.

"There was a national news bulletin that broke into radio reporting his death. There were obituaries in every major newspaper," said Orlean.

Fortunately, Rin Tin Tin fathered many pups who also starred in TV shows and movies. This is the latest Rin Tin Tin, twelve generations later, being honored for his work as a rescue dog, and carrying on a noble name.