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To Celebate the Anniversary of the Thin Man Movies: Sophia Loren on Asta


AnneMaria
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http://www.littledoginthebigcity.com/2013/05/24/first-famous-movie-dog-gets-two-paws-up/First Famous Movie Dog Gets Two Paws UpBig Adventures, Doggone Reviews, Fashionable & Fabulous, General, Pet Love | May 24, 2013 by admin | 0 Comments <!-- Start Shareaholic LikeButtonSetTop Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic LikeButtonSetTop Automatic -->TCM Host Robert Osborn gives Sophia Loren, the Little Dog in the Big City, a big hug.As you all know, I have a LOVE for film. From modern to Classic film…especially film noir, I eat it up!Last month I was honored to take part in the TCM Classic Film Festival right here in my backyard of Hollywood, along with a special evening, the same weekend of the Festival, with The Los Angeles Visionaries Association known as LAVA.The evening highlighted the works of Dashiell Hammett with his granddaughter, Julie Rivett and writer, Richard Layman. Hammett is known to moviegoers as the writer of the Thin Man Series and the Maltese Falcon.Mama shares the magical moment with Sophia Loren and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.That whole weekend got me to thinking of one of the first canine actors I ever saw on Turner Classic Movies, Asta. He is so much fun in the Thin Man movies and not many actors can outshine Cary Grant but Asta, or Skippy (the pup’s real name), did just that in, “Bringing Up Baby” and “The Awful Truth.”I asked one of my good friends, Joan Renner, who is one of the hosts of Esotouric Bus Adventures in Los Angeles, to tell us all a little bit more about that handsome canine, Asta! Joan is a great friend of pups and kitties so I knew she would be the purr-fect one to do so. Thanks to Asta we have a Benji and more recently, my BIG TIME CRUSH, Uggie from,” The Artist.”Dressed film-noir style with a canine couture twist, Sophia Loren turns heads and paws.Asta, SuperstarIn honor of Sophia Loren’s entrance into the blogosphere it seems only fitting to profile another dog of distinction and style — Asta!Asta gained movie fame and stardom in 1934 with his appearance in the much loved film THE THIN MAN, which also starred human actors Myrna Loy and William Powell.Whether he was leading Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) on a merry chase through their apartment as he chewed up a paper clue, or accompanying Nick on a midnight search for a suspect, Asta was a very noir dog and an integral part of the Thin Man series.In one scene Nick tells him: “Asta, you’re not a terrier, you’re a police dog.”Asta’s starring roles weren’t confined to the Thin Man series. In the 1937 film THE AWFUL TRUTH, his character was the subject of a contentious custody dispute between characters portrayed by Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.Asta is on the set of the “Thin Man” with Myrna Loy and William Powell.In 1938 he had a pivotal role in the classic screwball comedy BRINGING UP BABY where he played opposite Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. If ever there was a canine actor on the “A-list” it was Asta.In fact Asta (whose birth name was Skippy), was the subject of a piece in The American Magazine in an August 1938 profile titled “A Dog’s Life in Hollywood.”Check out this video of Asta on the set of the “After the Thin Man” in 1936.“Movie actresses stroke Skippy lovingly. They coo at him and murmur endearing terms in his ears. He takes it all in his stride, because, what with contracts, options, and exacting work before the movie cameras, he hasn’t much time for the attentions of Hollywood’s most beautiful stars. But if he’s paid for it and given the proper cue he will snuggle in the arms of the loveliest of stars, gaze into her limpid eyes, and, if necessary—howl.”“Skippy, a smart little wire-haired terrier, is one of the leading stars in pictures. He leads a glamorous life—a dog’s life de luxe. He is rated as one of the smartest dogs in the world, and when contracts are signed for his appearance in a picture he gets $200 a week for putting his paw-print on the dotted line. His trainer gets a mere $60.”If Asta were here today he would wholeheartedly approve of Sophia Loren’s smart and sassy style!– Joan Renner*Joan Renner is a writer and a social historian. Her blog, Deranged L.A. Crimes (www.derangedlacrimes.com) tells true tales of murder, mayhem, political corruption, and celebrity scandal from the 1920s through the 1960s. Her Vintage Powder Room blog (www.vintagepowderroom.com) draws inspiration from her vast collection of vintage cosmetics ephemera to explore history, film, literature, and style.

 

Edited by: AnneMaria on May 26, 2013 1:33 AM

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Sophia Loren is a rescue dog. She is highly trained in studio work and set training along with agility. Fashionable for sure but also a service dog. Thank you for the nice compliments on her blog and website. She is a hard working dog who loves to entertain. She doesn't dress up everyday as a dog needs to be a dog as often as possible! LOL! Thanks for the love.

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