Sunday, October 25, 2009

Terry aka Toto

Terry was born in 1933, she was a terrier whose most famous movie role was as Toto in the Wizard of Oz (1939). Although she appeared in thirteen movies, her only official movie credit was in the Wizard of Oz.

Terry's name was officially changed to Toto in 1942.

She was trained and owned by Carl Spitz. Carl Spitz established in the Hollywood Dog Training School in 1927

As part of her training for her role in the Wizard of Oz, she spent two weeks at Judy Garland's residence and Garland became quite attached to Terry and even wanted to adopt her, but Spitz refused.

Her salary for Wizard of Oz was $125 a week, which was more than many human actors in the film.

She attended the premiere of The Wizard of Oz at the Grauman's Chinese Theater.

During the filming of The Wizard of Oz, she suffered a broken foot when on oth the witch's guards accidentally stepped on her.

She was also afraid of the powerful wind machines used on the set of The Wizard of Oz.

Terry's first film appearance was in Ready for Love (1934) starring Ida Lupino.

Terry's next film was with Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes (1934) in which Terry played Rags.

Terry's other film credits are:

The Dark Angel (1935)

Fury (1936) as Rainbow

The Buccaneer (1938) as Landlubber

Stablemates (1938)

The Women (1939) as the fighting dog in the beauty shop.

Bad Little Angel (1939)

Calling Philo Vance (1940) as McTavish

Cinderalla's Feller (1940) as Rex the dog.

Twin Beds (1942)

George Washington Slept Here (1942)

In 2001, her autobiography "I Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog who was Toto" by Willard Carroll was released. This book is still available in most stores and on amazon. Willard Carroll had unearthed a leather-bound scrapbook containing Spitz's personal archive of Terry's life and work which was used to become the autobiography.

Carl Spitz retired Terry from cinema in 1942, and she became a beloved family pet, making appearances at numerous events, state fairs and animal shows until her death in 1944.

Terry died in 1944 and was buried in a pet burial area behind the Spitz's residence and kennel. However, During the expansion of the Ventura Freeway in Los Angeles, the property was obtained by Caltrans for construction purposes. The facility and the small burial grounds were razed.

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