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The Story Of Lassie

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Collie dog

If you’re a baby boomer, as a child you probably watched Lassie on television.  Lassie, a collie, was one of the most famous hero dogs of all time.  The saga of Lassie began in 1938 as a short story written by Eric Knight for the Saturday Evening Post.  In 1940, Knight expanded the story into a novel called Lassie Come Home.

In 1943, the book was developed into a screenplay.  The role of Lassie was played by a male Rough Collie named Pal, with Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor as co-stars. Pal went on to star in six sequels through 1951.

Lassie was so popular that a radio show launched in 1947 and ran until 1950.  The show ran weekly 15 minute stories where Lassie played a different dog in a variety of situations.

The story of Lassie became a television series in 1954.  The series ran from 1954 to 1973, making it one of the longest running television shows ever.  The series won Emmy Awards in 1955 and 1956 for Best Children’s Series.

Pal, who’d played Lassie for the movie adaptations starred in two episodes of the series before retiring and passing the role to his descendants.

In 1961, Lassie was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In 2006, Lassie was awarded the first everStar Pet Award.

For more information on the amazing story of Lassie, check out the official website at



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