Just for Fun! Asta the Dog — Hollywood’s Most Famous Canine Scene-Stealer!

Just for Fun! Asta the Dog!

One of Hollywood’s most famous Canine Scene Stealers, Asta the terrier was born ‘Skippy’ in 1931 (or possibly 1932).  Asta* appeared in 12 film and television roles, most notably as ‘Asta the Dog’ in The Thin Man (1934), After the Thin Man (1936) and The Thin Man Goes Home (1945) playing ‘opposite’ amateur sleuths Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy). He was also quite the ‘cut-up’ as “Mr. Smith” who was caught up in a custody battle between Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth (1937), and as “George” who steals and buries the priceless Intercostal Clavicle, much to the chagrin of Cary Grant (and the amusement of Katharine Hepburn) in Bringing Up Baby (1938). Asta also ‘starred’ as “Mr. Atlas” in Topper Takes a Trip (1938) with Roland Young and Constance Bennett.

Asta, the dog, Canine Star

Asta was noted as being one of the most intelligent animal stars of his time, and became the highest paid animal star of his day, earning $250 a week.

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Asta the Dog, William Power, Myrna Loy, The Thin Man, Publicity Still

Asta the Dog, with co-stars William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Thin Man (1934, director  W.S. Van Dyke

Asta the Dog, William Power, Myrna Loy, The Thin Man

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Asta the Dog, aka Skippy, as Mr. Smith in The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne

Poor Mr. Smith (Asta) must choose between divorcees Jerry and Lucy Warriner (Cary Grant and Irene Dunne) in The Awful Truth (1937, director Leo McCarey)

Asta the Dog, aka Skippy, as Mr. Smith in The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne

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Asta, Skippy, intercostal clavicle, Bringing Up Baby

Mischievous George (Asta) wrecks havoc when he hides Dr. David Huxley’s (Cary Grant) priceless brontosaurus bone, the Intercostal Clavicle, in Bringing Up Baby (1938, director Howard Hawks). 

Asta the Dog, Bringing Up Baby, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant

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Asta as Mr. Atlas in Topper Takes a Trip with Roland Young and Constance Bennett

Asta as “Mr. Atlas”, the Ectoplasimc Pup, in Topper Takes a Trip with Roland Young and Constance Bennett (1938, director Norman Z. McLeod)

Asta the dog as Mr. Atlas in Topper Takes a Trip

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gale henry, actress and owner of asta the dog

Asta’s owner was Gale Henry, a prominent Silent Screen comedienne who starred in over 265 films and shorts from 1914 through 1933.  Gale and husband Henry East, owned kennels in the Hollywood vicinity where they trained some of the most celebrated dogs in motion pictures.

–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

 

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3 Responses to Just for Fun! Asta the Dog — Hollywood’s Most Famous Canine Scene-Stealer!

  1. “Oh David, don’t hit George!”

    “I wasn’t going to hit George!”

    Skippy was a scene-stealer of the highest order.

  2. Nicole says:

    Is Asta still alive in 2014

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