Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stars & Their Hobbies ~ Harold Lloyd

Harold Lloyd, Great Danes
The great silent screen actor Harold Lloyd really loved dogs, especially Great Danes. His favorite was “Prince” who often appeared in family photographs and home videos. Lloyd had as many as 65 Great Danes, maybe even more, in his kennel on his Greenacres estate. He bred Great Danes and entered them in shows, winning blue ribbons along the way, and he also kept St. Bernards and Scottish Terriers. He loved his dogs iso much it's been said that he even set aside a plot of land on Greenacres to serve as a dog cemetery.

At one point during WWII, he had to reduce the number of dogs in his kennel from 60-80 down to 20. There are various reasons why he might have done this and the reasons differ greatly depending on which source you read. Here are some of the reasons given by various sources:
  • the barking bothered his neighbors
  • an epidemic killed most of them off
  • a WWII related meat shortage resulted in not enough food for the dogs
  • a city ordinance demanded the number of dogs reduced for safety reasons
  • Lloyd sold the land the kennel was on to the Mormon church to be a future site for a tabernacle
Whatever the reason, it must have hurt Lloyd to lose more than half of his kennel during the war. Lloyd’s Great Danes were a source of pride for him, his kennel was considered one of the best in the world and Hollywood filmmakers would even borrow his dogs for movies. Some of his prized Great Danes can be seen in the film The Most Dangerous Game (1932).


Lloyd with his Great Dane "Prince" - Source

And again with Prince - Source

My series Stars & Their Hobbies explores how notable actors and actresses from Hollywood history spent their free time. Click here to view a complete list of entries.

1 comment:

  1. Those photographs of Lloyd and Prince are absolutely charming! I never knew he owned and operated his own dog kennel until now -- your blog is a constant source of information for me HAHA! x

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