The movie star dog
Lassie. Toto. Air Bud. You probably know these four-legged icons as well as you might know humans like Tom Cruise or Meryl Streep. And yet it can be rare—especially today—that dogs in films actually out-earn human celebrities, even if they have the biggest “role” in the movie. For instance, the dogs playing the titular character in Marley & Me (there were several, since the dog had to age up!) didn’t earn nearly as much money as Owen Wilson or Jennifer Aniston.
But back in the early days of Hollywood, it was a different story. Individual dogs had more of a chance of making it really, really big onscreen than they do today. While today, a dog might be cast in a single “dog movie” or even snag a franchise or TV role, dogs don’t really become “movie stars,” known by their actual name and taking on multiple different roles. (You’re far more likely to see dogs become Internet-famous!) And, of course, it can be silly to even talk about dogs “getting paid”—the pup certainly isn’t pocketing the money! Generally, the money that onscreen dogs earn is split between the dog’s owner and the talent agency that represents him. And these four canine luminaries of Hollywood yesteryear earned lots—and lots—of money. If these well-paid pooches are a little before your time, find out the most famous movie dog the decade you were born.
Read more: rd.com