Picks and Pans Review: Hollywood Dogs
Dogs come when they are called," feminist author Mary Bly once observed, "cats take a message and get back to you." No matter how they respond, the best of both species answered the casting call of magazine design director and pet lover J.C. Suarés. Using movie stills, studio publicity shots and a few personal pictures of stars with their pets, the author has assembled two wolfishly witty and entertaining volumes of photographs.
In Cats, Sigourney Weaver cuddles finicky Jones, Alien's spaceship mascot, and June Lockhart swims with a game pet. Siamese seemed the breed of choice in Hollywood's heyday, favored by Ava Gardner, Peter Loire and Hayley Mills.
Among Dogs, terriers charmed. Youthful Bette Davis posed with her Scottish Highland, Meg; Bogart loved his Scotties; and Jean Harlow hugged a wire-haired fox terrier in 1933. What some celebs did for their pets goes above and beyond humane treatment. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton spent six months on their boat in the Thames in 1971 rather than put their Lhasa apsos and Pekinese into a six-month English quarantine.
Both books reveal why actors don't like to work with animals. The cats and dogs were often, well, more human than their two-legged costars: Consider such scenery chewers as Bell, Book and Candle's Pyewacket, DC of That Darn Cat, Lassie, Benji and Asta. If these collections fail to make you purr with satisfaction, you're barking up the wrong tree. (Collins, $14.95 each)