Photo of Roddy McDowell with the original Lassie, from 1943 movie Lassie Come Home
(Photo kindly borrowed from the Wikipedia web site)
There's a wonderful story you can listen to on National Public Radio's In Character blog, titled Lassie, the Perfect Dog.
The 7-minute story is about the history of the collie Lassie through book and films, the standards her character set for real dogs and expectations by real people, and associated memorabilia.
Most importantly, we are given a brief glimpse of Lassie's legacy in our everyday lives - the trust and hope in our dogs to both love us and serve us well.
- The 1943 movie Lassie Come Home starred both Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowell (one of detroit dog's favorite old movies)
- Lassie is one of several dogs that has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (others include Rin Tin Tin and first "dog star" Strongheart
- Lassie was originally a boy! (the name Lassie is Scotch/Irish for "young girl")