Pete the Pup
|Pete the Pup|
|Portrayed by||Pal the Wonder Dog, Lucenay's Peter, and other dogs|
Pete the Pup (original, 1924-June 1930; second Pete, September 9, 1929 – January 28, 1946) was a character in Hal Roach's Our Gang comedies (later known as The Little Rascals) during the 1930s. Otherwise known as "Pete, the Dog With the Ring Around His Eye", or simply "Petey", he was well known for having a circled eye that was added on by Hollywood make-up artist Max Factor and credited as an oddity in Ripley's Believe It or Not. The original Pete (sired by "Black Jack") was named "Pal the Wonder Dog", and had a natural ring almost completely around his eye; dye was used to finish it off.
Pal first started out as "Tige" in the Buster Brown series in the 1920s. It was during this time that he acquired the circled eye, and when he was recruited to appear in the Our Gang comedies later that year, Hal Roach simply left it on, creating one of the most recognized dogs in film history. In the 1994 remake of The Little Rascals, the new Pete is an American Bulldog.
Trainer and owner Lt. Harry Lucenay used one of Pal's offspring as Pete in the series after Pal was poisoned and died in 1930. The dog, named Lucenay's Peter, was bred by A. A. Keller. The second Pete looked very similar to the first Pete but was a mirror image. The circle was on the right eye on the first Pete while it was on the left eye on the second Pete. The second Pete appeared as a puppy on Pups Is Pups and was nearly full-grown on his second appearance, School's Out. The second Pete's last Our Gang appearance was The Pooch in 1932 when, in the plot, a dog catcher attempts to kill Pete in a gas chamber but is unsuccessful. So Lucenay's Peter was the best known. After Lucenay was fired from the Our Gang series in 1932, he retired Peter to Atlantic City, where he was photographed with children at the Steel Pier. Beginning with Hook and Ladder later in 1932, an unrelated pit bull played Pete and until 1938 a few unrelated dogs would play the role, though in less prominent roles than in the early 1930s.
Roach used a number of unrelated dogs to portray Pete in Our Gang until 1938. Lucenay's Peter continued on and died of old age on January 28, 1946 in Los Angeles, California at age 16 years/4 months, two years after the Our Gang series ended. Pete is buried at Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park at Calabasas Los Angeles County California, United States.
- Martin, Rick (2007). Circus Tricks for Your Dog: 25 Crowd-Pleasers That Will Make Your Dog a Star. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-57990-816-4.
- Commentary by Leonard Maltin, Richard Correll, and Richard W. Bann, from The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection Giftset, Volume 2 - disc one
- Maltin, Leonard and Bann, Richard W. (1977, rev. 1992). The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang, pp. 281-283. New York: Crown Publishing/Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-58325-9