8 Most Famous Dogs in Movie and TV History

Humans are not the only ones who can make or break a show/movie. A great canine character on the big screen takes a franchise over the top, and is often the most popular character in the series. There are a large number of famous dogs very dear to the heart of moviegoers and television watchers, and this list looks at the eight best.

8. Toto From 'The Wizard of Oz'

Toto will forever be remembered in history as one the more well-known dogs ever. Toto was the faithful furry companion of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She was actually a female Cairn Terrier named Terry. At the time of filming in the 1930s, Terry was paid a hefty $125 weekly salary— which is equivalent to a $2,200 salary today. In fact, it was more money than most of the human actors made. Terry went on to act in at least 13 other feature films. 

7. Beethoven From the 'Beethoven' Movie Series

Beethoven was an instant hit, and that had everything to do with the character that shared the movie title's name. This canine hero was a droopy-faced, lovable St. Bernard dog, who had a habit of getting his human family into shenanigans. Chris the Dog played the character in Beethoven and Beethoven’s 2nd as well.

6. Benji From the 'Benji' Movie Series

This lovable and adventurous mixed breed dog was originally played by a pup named Higgins in the 1974 movie Benji. Higgins ultimately had a successful 14-year show business career before his death in 1975. However, keeping it in the family, the role of Benji went to his offspring, Benjean afterwards.

5. Old Yeller From 'Old Yeller'

One of the more sadder entries on this list is Old Yeller. The film is still one of the most emotional tales in history. Old Yeller captures the heartbreak of the sudden loss of a beloved pet. This iconic role was played by Spike, a rescue dog. 

4. Buddy From 'Air Bud'

Perhaps the most popular dog in film history is Buddy from Air Bud. The multi-talented, athletic pup dominated the field and court in the movie series. The Golden Retriever was originally played by Air Buddy—the inspiration behind the film itself due to his skills in basketball, baseball, football, soccer, hockey and chess. 

3. Comet From 'Full House'

​Does this Golden Retriever look similar to Buddy from Airbud? Well, if you thought so, you're more right than you may have expected. Comet, one of the most beloved characters in the wholesome show, Full House, was played by Air Buddy! How's that for a versatile actor? 

2. Lassie From 'Lassie Come Home'

One of the most famous characters of all time, Lassie was a female Rough Collie and appeared in a series of short stories, TV shows and films. Lassie's most prominent role was in Lassie Come Home, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Lassie represented honor and determined loyalty, as she always selflessly put herself in precarious situations to save her human friends.

1. Marley From 'Marley and Me'

​Whoever claims they did not break down crying while watching Marley and Me is a liar. The film is one of the most heartwarming, but simultaneously heartbreaking films in the modern era of dog movies. Due to the fact that the film spans 14 years, 22 yellow Labrador Retrievers were used during filming.