The First Best Actor?
“That year , Rin Tin Tin was designated the most popular performer in the United States, and his four films—A Dog of the Regiment, Jaws of Steel, Tracked by the Police and Hills of Kentucky—were box office hits as well as critical successes. The Academy Awards were presented for the first time, and Rinty received the most votes for Best Actor. But members of the Academy, anxious to establish the new awards as serious and important, decided that giving an Oscar to a dog did not serve that end, so the votes were recalculated and the award was diverted to Emil Jannings, for his performances in both The Way of the Flesh and The Last Command.”
--Susan Orlean, “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend,” pp. 88-89. Orlean will appear next Friday, October 28, at SIFF Uptown for a reading, a Q&A, and a showing of the Rin Tin Tin silent film “Clash of the Wolves.”
The original Rin Tin Tin in “Hills of Kentucky” (1927).