Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Frank Inn (1916-2002) Hollywood animal trainer. His critters won over 40 PATSY awards.
It looks like this is going to be a true Hollywood week. I decided to try and get more information on the PATSY awards, and discovered there's actually very little to be found. Basic facts reflect that the awards started as a result of the American Humane Association's (AHA) push to protect and honor animal actors after a horse was accidently killed during the filming of 1939's movie, "Jesse James". (More on the AHA later this week). However, it doesn't appear that there's a cumulative listing of those honored that I've been able to find. In fact, it seems that the first award wasn't even given until 1951. Confusing the issue is the practice of honoring animals in various categories (cat, dog, horse, etc.) with an overall top winner. Sources indicate that the final year for PATSY awards was 1986.
If anyone out there can pin down specifics, I'd love to hear from them!
I was able to locate some information by looking at photos taken of markers at the Burbank Animal Shelter, where they have etched in concrete at least a partial listing of PATSY winners, along with some films that utilized animals. Here's the information on some winners memorialized at the shelter:
1951 Francis (The "talking" mule)
1952 Rhubarb/Orangey (cat-Breakfast at Tiffany's)
1953 Jackie (lion)
1954 Sam (dog)
1955 Gypsy (horse)
1956 Wildfire (dog)
1957 Samantha (goose)
1958 Spike (dog)
1959 Pyewalker (cat)
1960 Shaggy (dog)
1961 King Cotton (horse)
Subsequent winners mentioned by sources that do not include year of recognition are: Lassie, Arnold the Pig (Green Acres), Higgins (Benji), and Fury (horse).
If, in fact, the PATSY award is no longer given, I must protest. It should be reinstated. Look at all the films and TV shows that simply wouldn't be the same without their animal co-stars.
And it only seems appropriate that animal actors be recognized, too.