Saturday, December 26, 2009


Solomon played the beautiful White Turkish Angora feline of evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld in several James Bond films.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld, an evil genius, he is the archenemy of the British Secret Service agent James Bond and head of the global criminal organization SPECTRE with aspirations of world domination.

In the films, Blofeld almost always appears with a white Turkish Angora cat.

Blofeld's habit of cuddling a fluffy white cat while plotting his evil deeds has been much parodied, particularly by Mike Myers with the cat Mr. Bigglesworth in the Austin Powers movie series.

Solomon appared in From Russia With Love (1963), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds are Forever (1971).

Solomon also appeared in Clockwork Orange (1971), his final film appearance.

Turkish Angoras are friendly, intelligent, active cats who enjoy interacting with their human family as well as with other cats. Unlike most cats, many members of this breed love to swim and are drawn to water. Which is probably why a Turkish Angora was chosen for the role of Blofeld's cat.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jean, The Vitagraph Dog

Jean, the Vitagraph Dog was a dog actor that performed title roles in early silent films.

Around 1907, Maine resident and aspiring writer Laurence Trimble moved to New York City with his dog, Jean.

Laurence Trimble sold an article to a local magazine which paved the way for the two of them to visit Vitagraph Studios to do a story on film making.

Laurence Trimble and his dog Jean just happened to be on the set at a time when the company needed a dog to play opposite Florence Turner ("the Vitagraph Girl").

A star was born, Jean and her owner were asked to stay and both became members of the Vitagraph stock company.

Jean became quite popular and was soon known as "the Vitagraph Dog", starring in her own films along with "the Vitagraph Girl" all directed by Larry Trimble.

By 1910, Laurence Trimble became Florence Turner's exclusive director and continued to make films with his lucky dog, Jean, until 1913, when Trimble, Turner, and Jean left Vitagraph and started up Turner Films, Ltd. in England.

World War I interrupted most of their work and, in 1916, Trimble returned to the states. Jean died later that year.

Jean made her movie debut in Jean and the Calico Doll (1910).

Between 1910 and 1912, she starred in sixteen more films. Her films were Jean, the Matchmaker (1910), Jean Goes Foraging (1910), Jean Goes Fishing (1910), A Tin-Type Romance (1910), Jean and the Waif (1910), Where the Winds Blow (1910), Jean Rescues (1911), When the Light Waned (1911), The Stumbling Block (1911), Tested by the Flag (1911), Auld Lang Syne (1911), Jean Intervenes (1912), Playmates (1912), The Church Across the Way (1912), Bachelor Buttons (1912), and The Signal of Distress (1912).

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Higgins was born on December 12, 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

Higgins was one of the best-known dog actors of the 1960s – 1970s. He won a Patsy Award in 1967 and he was cover-featured on an issue of TV Guide magazine.

The animal trainer Frank Inn found the famous canine at the Burbank Animal Shelter as a puppy. A fluffy black-and-tan mixed breed dog, he was marked like a Border Terrier but Frank Inn believed him to be a mix of Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and Schnauzer.

Higgins first came to national attention as the pet who played "Dog" in the television sitcom Petticoat Junction for six of the show's seven seasons, from 1964 to 1970, appearing in 163 episodes.

Higgins also made a guest-appeared on the television sitcom Green Acres with Eva Gabor in 1965 and The Beverly Hillbillies.

Higgins starred in the film Mooch Goes to Hollywood with with Zsa Zsa Gabor and Vincent Price.

In 1974, at the age of 14, Higgins came out of retirement to star in Benji.

Higgins had an extraordinary ability to convey a broad range of emotions through his facial expressions. Frank Inn, who trained thousands of animals of all species during his lifetime, told reporters that Higgins was the smartest dog he had ever worked with.

Higgins had a close rapport with the actor Edgar Buchanan, who played Uncle Joe Carson on Petticoat Junction. Buchanan's last film was Benji, which was also the last film that Higgins made. The two actors had an obvious fondness for one another, which is especially clear in Benji.

Frank Inn and Higgins were very close in real life as well as on the job. Frank Inn wrote two poems about Higgins: My Little Brown Dog and My Gift to Jesus.

Higgins died at the age of 17 on November 11, 1975. Higgins was cremated and his ashes were in an urn on the mantel piece in Frank Inn's home.

At Frank Inn's request, Higgin's ashes were buried with him in his coffin when Frank Inn died in 2002.

Higgins's progeny carried on his work in a continuing series of movies and television series featuring the Benji character, beginning with For the Love of Benji in 1977, which starred his daughter Benjean.

My Little Brown Dog by Frank Inn

I have a little brown dog that all my friends dearly love.
It is Benji, "God's Gift", to my family from heaven above.

A dog is one of God's created creatures that is faithful to men.
Because he is so faithful, he is called, "man's best friend."

He is a companion to people, he is a shepherd to sheep.
He guides the blind and he guards your home when you sleep.

Sometime you may betray your dog, but as long as he should live
He will follow his master faithfully and he will always forgive.

I wonder if Christ had a little brown dog that trusted and followed like mine
With two silky ears and a nose round and wet and two eyes round and tender that shine.

I am sure that if Christ had a little brown dog, it would feel like His master was God.
And would need no other proof that Christ was divine, and would worship the ground that He trod.

Now I don't believe that our Lord had a dog, because in the Bible I read
How He prayed in the garden alone, while His friends and disciples had fled.

I am sure that if Christ had a little brown dog, with a heart so tender and warm,
That dog would never have left Him to suffer alone, but he would have snuggled close under His arm.

Licking the fingers on His hands in agony clasped,
Still trying to comfort his boss.
And when they took Jesus away, he would have trotted behind.
He would have followed Him all the way to the cross.

Young children should learn to be faithful at home
Like my little brown dog I described in this poem.

Take them to Church and don't let them get bored,
So they can learn to be faithful and follow the Lord.

They should hear about Jesus, how he was born here on earth,
Remembering what He did for them when we celebrate His birth.

Be filled with the Spirit and you can live without fear,

My Gift To Jesus by Frank Inn

If someone had given baby JESUS a dog that was as loyal as mine,
To sleep by His side and follow Him and feel like He was Divine.

As He grew into manhood He'd have a dog following Him every day,
As He preached to crowds, or if He went into the Garden to pray.

It's so sad that CHRIST went away to face death alone and apart,
With no dog close beside Him to help comfort His MASTER's heart.

When JESUS arose that Easter morn, how happy He would have been,
If a little dog licked the hand of the Man who died for all men.

Our LORD has one now as He just called for my popular dog Benji,
Later, God called for my Wife and now they are both in Eternity.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bamboo Harvester

"Hello, I'm Mister Ed

A horse is a horse, of course of course,
and no one can talk to a horse of course,
that is of course, unless the horse,
Is the famous Mister Ed!

Go right to the source and ask the horse.
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mister Ed.

People yak-it-ti-yak a streak
and waste your time of day,
but Mister Ed will never speak,
unless he has something to say...

A horse is a horse, of course of course,
And this one will talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?
Well, listen to this...

I am Mister Ed"

Bamboo Harvester (Mister Ed) was a Palomino horse was born in 1949 in El Monte, California. His parents were The Harvester (Sire), a Saddlebred owned by Edna and Jim Fagan; and Zetna, (Dam) who was sired by Antez, an Arabian imported from Poland.

Bamboo Harvester was trained by Lester Hilton. Lester "Les" Hilton had been apprenticed under Will Rogers, and also worked with the mules in the "Francis the Talking Mule" movies.

Prior to landing the title role of Mister Ed, he became trained as a show and parade horse by Lester Hilton, a Will Rogers protege.

He was only 12 years old when he became known to the world as Mister Ed, a role for which he was clearly typecast. He neither played, nor did he audition for any other role during his 19-year life. He never appeared on any commercials. He was introduced to the world in his peak role of Mister Ed.

Mister Ed (1949-1970) was voiced by ex-B-movie cowboy star Allan "Rocky" Lane (speaking) and Sheldon Allman (singing).

There are conflicting stories involving of the death of Bamboo Harvester, the horse that played Mr. Ed.

One version is by 1968 the horse was suffering from a variety of health problems. In 1970 he was euthanized with no publicity, and buried at Snodgrass Farm in Oklahoma.

Another version is quoted by Alan Young in his book "Mr. Ed and Me." Young wrote in his book that he'd frequently visit his former "co-star" in retirement. He states that Mr. Ed died from an inadvertent tranquilizer administered while he was "in retirement" in a stable in Burbank, California where he lived with his trainer Lester Hilton.