• U.S.

Milestones: Mar. 11, 1985

1 minute read

DIED. Rudd Weatherwax, 77, flamboyant owner and trainer of the original Lassie and six subsequent Wonder Dogs; of a heart attack; in Los Angeles. In 1940 he and his brother Frank took on an unwanted collie named Pal, which was selected first as a stand-in and then as star of Lassie Come Home (1943). Weatherwax also trained Asta for the Thin Man movies and Daisy for the Blondie series. Devoted to his charges, he kept the cremated remains of bygone Lassies, once vowing, “When I finally go, I’m gonna take those urns and bury them with me.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com