One of the most famous dog movies ever also featured one of the most famous rescue dogs ever. Spike, a huge Labrador Retriever/Mastiff mix, was adopted by Frank Weatherwax (trainer of Lassie) from the Van Nuys Animal Shelter in California for $3.00.
After his first film, Old Yeller (1957), Spike appeared on The Mickey Mouse Club with his costar Kevin Corcoran. He went on to star in two more features, A Dog of Flanders (1959) and The Silent Call (1961), and appear in other films and TV shows including The Westerner (1960).
His legacy lives on today as the poster dog of one of the best known dog novels of all time.
Old Yeller and A Dog of Flanders are both available on DVD. The Silent Call has never been released on either VHS or DVD.