Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

Today, we're going to celebrate the scorching heat, the dog days of summertime, with a photo grouping that features a variety of actors and actresses posing with pooches (as our cover boys Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel are doing at right.)  This territory was covered once before here, but we've managed to amass another round of shots.  Dogs in a photo can arouse anything from grace to joy to unbridled humor.  If you've been coming here for long, you know that I treasure our four-footed friends.  So here come some more of them, palling around with the stars!  (And you know that any time I can inject kitsch or camp here as well, I'll do so!)

Rudolph Valentino, the great lover of the silent screen, matches intense glares with a fur-covered friend.
Silent film comic Harold Lloyd is shown here with a lovably scruffy costar.
Fellow silent comic legend Buster Keaton is engaged in a tugging match with his furry four-legger.
Miss Shirley Temple seems delighted to be spending time with this sweet-natured canine.
This doggie seems a bit unsure about Lon Chaney Jr in his The Wolf Man (1941) makeup, as well he should be!
Clara Bow's woolly pal knows that she has "It!"
Jean Harlow relaxes with a contented spaniel.  Miss Harlow died at only age twenty-six of kidney failure, with multitudinous (and mostly unfounded) rumors swirling madly then and now.
Luminous Carole Lombard relaxes by the pool with a diminutive buddy.  Lombard was taken from us altogether too soon in a 1942 plane crash when she was just thirty-three.
Debonair actor William Powell, adept at comedy and drama, poses with a daschund.  Incidentally, Powell was married to Lombard for a couple of years in the early-'30s and was close to marrying Harlow when she died in 1937.
Claudette Colbert makes sure to mask her little-seen right side, even when shown greeting one of her canine costars on the set of a film.
Norma Shearer, in her Elizabeth Barrett guise, cuddles with Flush (the dog playing Barrett's beloved dog Flush was named Flush as well!)
Shearer's one-time stand-in-turned-acting-rival Joan Crawford takes to the avenue with a considerable canine, a shaggy sheep dog!
Speaking of considerable, Ann Sheridan seems to be having quite a time with her energetic four-legged friend.
1930s and '40s actor Kent Taylor compares profiles with an Irish setter.  Did you know that Taylor was partly the inspiration for the name of Superman's alter-ego Clark Kent?  Clark Gable provided the other half.
Joan Fontaine is a dog-lover and was frequently photographed with one or another around.  (Even the most recent shot of her from several years ago had pooches in the frame with her.)
Cary Grant plays around with a pooch in this publicity still.
We recently bid farewell to swimming sensation Esther Williams, who created a whole genre of cinema, the splashy, spectacular "aquamusical," before retiring from the screen.  She was ninety-one.
Young Jane Powell snuggles up to a serene-looking collie (is it Lassie?)
Bob Hope tries to out-mug a Great Dane, who seems to be winning the contest with a set of crossed eyes!
I love Jane Russell's little fluffy pal.
Vera-Ellen and Fred Astaire give Red Skelton and his poodle the once over in this still from Three Little Words (1950.)  Vera-Ellen's childhood home is mere blocks from my own!
Ann Miller, another musical star, pulls a poodle out of a large Christmas stocking in this publicity photo.
June Lockhart frolics with a (collie?) puppy years before she would assume the role of the mother on Lassie (1959-1964.)
Here we see 1940s & '50s star Glenn Ford enjoying a pipe in the company of a canine companion.
Model-turned-actress Joan Caulfield (you might recall her in The Unsuspected, 1947, or The Rains of Ranchipur, 1955) is shown poolside with a happy hound.
British leading man Richard Todd proves that dogs can lend a stately touch to the sprawling grounds of an estate. (Just be sure that there's someone to clean up after them or those croquet games can get messy!)
At the time of this photo, Aly Khan (looking decidedly pensive) was in the process of divorcing his second wife Rita Hayworth and already engaged to Gene Tierney.  The marriage plans (highly objected to by his father The Aga Khan) eventually fell apart and Aly remained single until his death from a car accident in 1960 at age forty-eight (though he was engaged and a father-to-be at that time, too!)
Curvaceous Diana Dors shares a chaise longue with a perky pal.
With that, we take you into the Jayne Mansfield wing of today's exhibit.  Miss M., queen of all kinds of publicity, was frequently shown posing with dogs.  Here, a remarkably and refreshingly de-glamorized Jayne is shown with husband Mickey Hargitay, a teensy pup and a throng of children at some outdoor occasion.
More common are shots of Mansfield like this, in which a chihuahua is dressed amusingly while she is teased and coiffed to the max.
At the Mansfield home, there were always dogs afoot and in bed with the star.
Not even a simple game of pool was free of a pet on hand!
Jayne cradled dogs most everywhere she went!  This stuff didn't begin with Paris Hilton...
Not all of her critters were tiny, either!
I positively adore this photo of Jayne propping up one of her many canine companions.  Do check out that wasp waist of hers, too!!
Audrey Hepburn was another star very fond of animals.  This Yorkie was often in her company during its lifespan.
There's something quite unsettling about this ostensibly happy portrait of June Allyson and a Yorkie.  Though it's meant to be joyous, it is somehow demonic!  (Maybe it's the terrified and forlorn expression on the dog? LOL)
Here's a truly happy shot of James Garner and a poodle pal.
My earlier post of celebs with animals had a different pose from this shoot with Tuesday Weld with a beautiful white companion, but I found this one later and decided to include it here as well for her fans.
Rock Hudson lends a welcome scratch to a lovable pal of his.
Lassie got new forest ranger costars for her series in the mid-'60s and Jed Allen (perhaps best known for his role on Days of Our Lives) was one of them from 1968-1970.
Another star known to always have a small army of dogs underfoot was Miss Elizabeth Taylor, looking rather radiant here (but aren't those rings kind of ugly for someone with such a staggering jewelry collection??)
This is a lovely snap of the beautiful Catherine Deneuve holding a small pooch.
Here we see Miss Kim Novak (and her breasts!) during a break while filming The Great Bank Robbery (1969), saying hi to her sleek, black costar.
Tom Ewell might just be waiting outside a shop for his wife Marjorie or perhaps he was walking their large poodles all by himself.
Longtime pet lover Betty White is seen with one of her faithful friends.
Shirley Jones, during her The Partridge Family years (1970-1974), has fun with her schnauzer.
Medical Center's resident hunk Chad Everett (from 1969-1976) prefers a more sizable canine companion.
It's tough to see where Lindsay Wagner's fluffy pet begins and where her hair ends in this shot!
Bette Davis wasn't the only bitch that Lillian Gish worked with in her last years.  In 1983, she starred in Hambone and Hillie with this cuddly canine.
As we draw near the close, I give you one of my favorite shots from this collection, due to the vibrancy of color and the camp value of the look of it.  Miss Natalie Wood uses a giant pedestal in order to see eye-to-eye with her pet poodle.
But my final shot is most unusual too.  We've all heard the term "lucky dog," but what about "lucky dogs?"  At least four of them are frolicking here with a shirtless Hugh O'Brian!  Now that is a dog's life...