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Famous People Who Have Owned Kerry Blues

 

© 2003 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation


Marian Anderson

Submitted by Edward Cardona, Suzanne Rodda, Carol Brown and others

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson is the first black singer ever to perform with the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York. She is, in essence, the Jackie Robinson of the opera world. She was a phenomenal talent and a huge star since 1935 but because of the then prevailing racial issues it took the Met many years to invite her to sing. She finally made her Met debut in 1955. She died in 1993 at the age of 96. She wrote an autobiography,My Lord, What a Morning (1957). Allan Keiler (Professor of Music, Brandeis University), her biographer, informed us that she DID in fact own two Kerry Blue Terriers. One was named Falla, after President Roosevelt's dog and the other was named Fenon. Mrs. Roosevelt was instrumental in her breakthrough into an all-white opera world. Ms. Anderson sang many times at the White House. She is acclaimed for her work in behalf of black people and for her warmth of personality as well as for her professional work. She was a delegate to the United Nations.

Back in 1965 and after, there was a Kerry breeder who lived in Westchester, NY who was a good friend of Marian Anderson. Ms. Anderson was in love with the breed and every year after the Empire Specialty which, at that time was at the Westchester Kennel Club Show, came to the after-show party at the beautiful home of Jean & Buzz Seward. Many of us met her at that time - she was a delightful character.

Anderson is a bona fide American Heroine and a spectacular artist who shared our love for the Kerry Blue Terrier.

Note from editor <johnv@kerryblues.info>: Ed Cardona has been kind enough to provide us with a rare CD recording of Marian Anderson's work. We have a "CD train" going. To add your name to the list you must commit to mail the CD within a two weeks of receiving it to the next address on the list. Just send me your mailing address and I will add you to the "CD train". The CD can be purchased by calling 800/477-7146.


Ethel Barrymore

Submitted by Carol Brown

Ethel Barrymore

According to The New Complete Kerry Blue Terrier - Second Edition by Dr. E. S. Montgomery (now out of print), acctress Ethel Barrymore was a Kerry owner. The actress lived between 1879 and 1959. Her distinctive style, voice, and wit made her the "first lady" of American theatre. The daughter of Maurice and Georgiana Barrymore, and sister of John and Lionel Barrymore, all actors. Ethel made her professional debut in 1894. She was born in Philadelphia, but her first success was in London. Her career then moved to Broadway and to Hollywood. Besides the plays, she appeared in vaudeville, on radio and on television and made numerous motion pictures. The most noteworthy was Rasputin and the Empress (1933), which was the only work in which she appeared with her brothers John and Lionel. She won an Academy Award for her performance in None but the Lonely Heart (1944).

Miss Barrymore's two Kerries were sired by Ch. Rackety Packety Peter Piper.

Famous quotes by Ethel Barrymore:

"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh -- at yourself."

"The best time to make friends is before you need them."


John Barrymore

Submitted by Judith Bruno and John Van den Bergh

John Barrymore was a Shakespearian actor. His Richard III and Hamlet, first seen in New York during the 1919-20 and 1922-23 seasons, stand as high water marks of twentieth century Shakespearean interpretation. Many conventions of modern practice can be traced to Barrymore's performances: he was the first actor to bring the vocal and physical manner of a postwar gentleman to Shakespeare's tragic protagonists and was the first to reinterpret time-honored roles in light of Freudian psychology. Barrymore was an original, capable of electrifying audiences with the force and subtle brilliance of his acting. A colorful, complex, mercurial figure, his legendary performances made an extraordinary impression upon the playgoers of his generation. John Barrymore named his KBTs Quake, Shake and Shock because they were born during a earthquake.

(From a book review of John Barrymore, Shakespearean Actor, by Michael A. Morrison):

John Barrymore became an eccentric animal collector in his later years. His beloved menagerie consisted of 300 different birds, dozens of Siamese cats, and 19 dogs, of which there were 11 greyhounds, several St. Bernards, and a few Kerry Blue Terriers. Barrymore also had a monkey, a few opossum, and mouse deer.

John Barrymore is the brother of Ethel Barrymore, also an actor and Kerry owner.


Samuel Beckett

Submitted by Steve Schultz and John Van den Bergh

Samuel Becket with one of his mother's Kerries

Irish-born novelist and playwright, winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature--kept a Kerry bitch when he was a young man in Foxrock. He mentions the bitch at some length at least three times in his writings. Samuel Beckett was born near Dublin in 1906. He wrote narrative prose, poetry, drama and criticism in both English and French. The picture on the right shows Samuel Beckett with one of his mother's Kerry Blues, though not the one remembered in Krapp's Last Tape, whose death he grieved so much. Beckett would go on long walks, up to 10 miles, with his Kerry to find peace and inspiration.

Krapp's Last Tape is a semi-autobiographical work. The Kerry plays prominently in the book, (No pedigree or kennel name is listed.) When the Kerry bitch he grew up with was diagnosed with cancer and had to be destroyed at the age of 12, Beckett plunged into such deep gloom that he contemplated suicide. Luckily, instead he wrote Krapp's Last Tape.

He also mentioned the Kerry in two other short stories published in More Pricks Than Kicks.


Dr. Charles Best

Submitted by Judth Bruno

Dr. Charles Best is known for discovering insulin. In his biography, "Margaret and Charley: The Personal Story of Dr. Charles Best", on page 172, is a story about the arrival of their Kerry on July 7, 1939, as a birthday present for Margaret, his wife.


Ann Blyth

Submitted by Judth Bruno

Ann Blyth

American actress born 1928. Veteran of some 30 motion pictures (1944-1957), nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Mildred Pierce in 1946.

The picture on the left is from the cover of Edith Izant's book "The Kerry Blue Terrier", William W. Denlinger, Copyrighted 1982.


Margaret Wise Brown

Submitted by Eileen Andrade

Margaret Wise Brown

Margaret Wise Brown, author of children's books:

The Runaway Bunny
Goodnight Moon
The Little Fur Book
The series of Noisy books
and many more including
Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself (written with her dog in mind)

Margaret Wise Brown was a writer of children's books, very influential in the field of children's literature in the 30's and 40's. She was also a friend of Ms. Michael Strange, who was ex wife of John Barrymore (so maybe some input from his sister Ethel Barrymore there, though I didn't find any documentation of it). Margaret obtained her Kerry Blue as a gift from Michael Strange who took her to see a litter of puppies. When Margaret chose the rowdiest and most aggressive of the puppies Michael Strange tried to go back on the gift, stating that she would only pay for the puppy if Margaret chose any puppy other than that one. Margaret won in the long run. She named her pup Crispian's Crispian. If her biography is any use as an indicator Crispian sounds like a normal Kerry male. They were constant companions. Crispian was the inspiration for her book "Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself". Crispian was with her on a trip to France at the time of her death in November 1952 and became party to a legal dispute over her final will and testament which left Crispian and a sizeable sum of money to a gentleman in France who had helped her during her illness. Her family disputed the will and won, but Crispian remained in France.

This is a photo of Margaret Wise Brown and Crispian from the back dust cover of her biography "Awakened by the Moon" by Leonard Marcus. The photo is on display at the Brooklyn Museum.


Margaret Wise Brown

The December 2000 issue of Vanity Fair also has an article about Margaret Wise Brown and a picture of Crispian (page 181).


Jim Byrnes

Submitted by Julie Caroe

Actor Jim Byrnes owns a Kerry named Jack.

Jim Byrnes is born on September 22, 1948 and grew up in St. Louis. He studied acting at Boston University and St.Louis University and has made a numbers of movie and telly stuff, but I think that he is best known for his role in "Highlander" (1992) playing Joe Dawson (1993-1998) and in "Wiseguy" (1987) playing Daniel Benjamin Burroughs ("Lifeguard").

Jim Byrnes is also known for his music and he learned to play blues guitar at age 13.

On Feb. 26, 1972 He lost both his legs in an automobile accident.


Truman Capote

Submitted by Gene Possidento and others

I do remember reading in Gerald Clark's biography of Truman Capote that Capote owned a Kerry Blue male for a time (page 210). I remember that he passed him on to his long time companion, Jack Dunphy, as the dog was a bit too much for him to handle.

Capote was born in 1924 in New Orleans. He was a novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Most of his works have in common fine, craftsman-like writing and an interest in eccentric and bizarre characters. No wonder he was attracted to Kerry Blues.


Michael Collins

Submitted by Richard Basler and Paul English

The most famous Kerry owner of all time must be Ireland's renown patriot, Michael Collins. His Kerry, "Convict 224," was also famous during the early 1920s. Collins worked hard to make the Kerry the national dog of Ireland, but without success (although I believe the Kerry later became known as *one* of the national dogs of Ireland).

Apparently, during his young days in Dublin, most of the local youths, in order to be tough and help their image, owned Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Michael Collins owned a Kerry Blue, and soon, most of the tough youths soon followed suit, especially when they discovered the personality traits of our much loved breed.

Michael Collins was an avid fanatic of our breed and often showed his dogs. It is said, that at one particular show in Dublin, one of the higher ranking members of the British Authorities in Ireland, together with a highly ranked member of the police, showed their Kerries in the same ring as Michael Collins, who had sneaked in through the back door. After judging was finished a blind eye was turned for 10 minutes whilst Mr. Collins sneaked out into the dark, Dublin night.

Michael Collins also owned a Kerry by the name "Danny Boy". Click here to see some historic video from 1921.

Such was their passion and competitiveness for their Kerries, it was the one thing that they all had in common.


Perry Como

Information provided by Marjorie Houdou and Suzanne Rodda

Perry Como

Back in the sixties, Marjorie Houdou was traveling with her Kerry breeder-friend, Madelyn Gutman, on Long Island, N.Y. Madelyn's brood bitch just had a litter and Marjorie was promised a puppy. At Sands Point, their car broke down. Perry Como, a local resident, helped them out with their car problems. As usual, the Kerry in the back of the car caused quite a commotion. Mr. Como fell in love with this gorgeous show dog and wanted to buy a puppy. Marjorie agreed to give up the puppy Madelyn had promised her. A few weeks later, Madelyn delivered a Kerry to Mr. Como.

He did not show it nor did he have any other Kerries.


Henry Cooper

Submitted by Carol Ramsey and Diane Ridd

Henry Cooper remains the most popular British boxer ever to step into a ring. He also threw the most famous punch in the history of British boxing on the night he floored Mohammad Ali (then know as Cassius Clay), at Wembley Stadium in 1963.

Henry dominated the British and European heavyweight scene for a decade or more and is the only British Champion to win three Lonsdale belts outright.

Since his retirement in 1973, Henry has been much in demand for TV appearances, after dinner speeches and pro-celebrity golf tournaments. He appears regularly on TV and radio, covering major fights as ringside expert.

Henry never won a World heavyweight championship but won something much more valuable .... the lifelong affection of an entire nation.

His Kerry, Benson, bonded so well with his wife Maria, especially when she was cooking in the kitchen, and would let no-one else in. Typical Kerry!


Bill Cosby

Submitted by Kathryn and Issy Pfeffer, and Suzanne Rodda

Bill Cosby (William H. Cosby, Jr.) (born 1937) - Actor, comedian, producer and one of America's most beloved stars.

Clay Coady used to handle Bill Cosby's Kerries. He has pictures up on the wall of his Kennel in Phoenix, AZ.


Jack Dempsey

Submitted by Helen Eiden

US Stamp of Jack Dempsey

World heavyweight boxing champion, regarded by many as the apotheosis of professional fighter. He held the title from July 4, 1919, when he knocked out Jess Willard in three rounds in Toledo, Ohio, until September 23, 1926, when he lost a ten-round decision to Gene Tunney, also a Kerry owner. Dempsey was by far the most popular boxer of his time.

Patrick Corless of (Balinrobe Kennels in the Bronx) showed me a picture of the Champ with 3 Kerries back in 72. Jack also had a restaurant on Broadway that was visited by many of the Broadway stars.

He didn't show his Kerries.

Note: As of February 1999, the US Stamp of Jack Dempsey is still available from the US Postal Service Philatelic Fulfillment Services @ 1-800-STAMP-24. Item number 553800.


William Randolph Hearst

Submitted by Janet Joers, Richard Basler and Edith Izant.

Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Millicent Hearst, was an early importer and breeder of Kerries in the US. William Hearst preferred Dachshunds, which lived at San Simeon, while Mrs. Hearst and the Kerries lived in New York.

The picture on the right was taken aboard an Atlantic liner arriving in New York in the early twenties. It shows Ch. Seumas Creina and Kenmare Peggy, small dogs probably not over eighteen inches tall.

J. C. Akerman's 1927 Combined Terrier Clubs Specialty Show catalogue of Feb. 9, 1927, which would make it the first or second U.S. Kerry Blue Terrier Club specialty, showed that Mrs. Hearst had four Kerries entered, including Seumas Creina and Roman Annie, two of the earliest imports from Ireland.


Alfred Hitchcock

Motion-picture director best known for suspenseful films, with humorous touches, of such immense popularity that his name became as great an attraction as a star's.

He grew up in London where he mad his first films in the 1920s and 30s. He moved to Hollywood in 1940 where he won his first Academy Award for the best picture with Rebecca.

Hitchcock, who made a fleeting appearance in each of his films, increased his own celebrity through several popular television series in the 1950s and '60s, which he introduced and sometimes directed.

One of these TV episodes is "The Kerry Blue". It was episode #257 season 7, 4/17/62 . More information about that episode and how to see it is available form the KB web site.


John Huston

Submitted by Judith Bruno

John Huston was an actor and movie director whose melodramas were some of the most popular films of the 1940s. He started as a script writer, then became an actor and director. He directed the Maltese Falcon (1941), Key Largo (1948), Casino Royale (1967). He also wrote screen adaptations for Moby Dick (1956) and the Madwoman of Chaillot (1969).

He named his Kerry "Jennifer."


Evelyn Keyes

Submitted by Judith Bruno

Evelyn Keyes

One of the most underrated actresses of the 40's and 50's. She was in over 40 films during this time. Some of her more famous roles are: Suellen O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Mating of Millie (1947), and Tom Ewell's vacationing wife in The Seven Year Itch (1955). She retired in 1956, but did do some cameo roles in the 80's.


Michael Mayer

Submitted by Judith Bruno

Michael Mayer

Three-time Tony-nominated director Michael Mayer.

His first film, A Home at the End of the World, opened on July 23, 2005. The movie includes an appearance of his Kerry Blue.

(Photo © Michael Portantiere)


John Mitchum

Submitted by Lonie Ward

John Wayne and John Mitchum

John Wayne with John Mitchum in El Dorado

John Mitchum was never as famous as his brother Bob in the field, but has appeared as a featured actor in television and movies all his adult life and of course was in all of Bob's films. Back in the 1960s he wrote the score, narrative, sang and played guitar in a terrific record album with "Bonanza" star Dan Blocker (Hoss in the series.) He's semi retired in Northern CA.

I got the Kerry for John's kids. John's son named him "Kerry".

John appeared in The Enforcer (1976), Dirty Harry (1971) and My Fair Lady (1964)


George Murphy

Submitted by Lonie Ward

George Murphy was US Senator from California during the early l960s. He also was a former actor.

He starred in Battleground (1949), Having a Wonderful Crime (1945), Show Business (1944), Broadway Rhythm (1944), Step Lively (1944), This Is the Army (1943,) Bataan (1943), The Navy Comes Through (1942), For Me and My Gal (1942), A Girl, a Guy and a Gob (1941), Tom, Dick and Harry (1941), Little Nellie Kelly (1940), Letter of Introduction (1938), Little Miss Broadway (1938), Kid Millions (1934).

We were in a hardware store with our Kerry where me met George Murphy. He reached down and petted him with the comment, "Well, another Blue, have two at home just like you."


Lynn Roberts

Submitted by Judith Bruno

Lynn Roberts
Aka
Lynne Roberts
Aka
Mary Hart
Aka
Theda May Roberts,

frequent co-star of Roy Rogers, was the heroine in several of the Three Mesquiteers adventures. She was also the female lead in THE LONE RANGER (Republic, 1938) and DICK TRACY RETURNS (Republic, 1938) cliffhangers and played the daughter in the THE HIGGINS FAMILY (Republic, 1938) film and ongoing series which was Republic's low budget competition to MGM's Hardy Family.

One of Lynne's hobbies was raising, breeding and showing Kerry blue terriers. The above photo appears to be late 1940s - early 1950s and this is probably the backyard of Lynne's home in Van Nuys, California.


Mickey Rooney

Submitted by Carol Brown

Mickey Rooney

According to The New Complete Kerry Blue Terrier - Second Edition by Dr. E. S. Montgomery (now out of print), actor Mickey Rooney was a Kerry owner.

In the 1930s Rooney became famous for his role in the Andy Hardy series, he received a special Academy Award for the film Boys Town with Spencer Tracy, and he made Babes in Arms, his first major musical with Judy Garland, earning an Academy Award nomination as best actor. Box-office receipts for 1938-1940 made him the number one star in the world. Since that time, Rooney's career has spanned decades and includes such movie classics as The Human Comedy, National Velvet, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, The Black Stallion, and a television Emmy for Bill. He has worked with some of the best-known actors of the day: Jackie Cooper, Freddie Bartholomew, Buck Jones, Wallace Beery, Judy Garland

Mickey Rooney now lives in Westlake, California.


Jack Rose

Submitted by Barbara Wright, and others.

Jack went to college with Bill Clinton and subsequently started the Rose lawfirm with Hillary Rodham, Web Hubble and Vince Foster.

Jack used to be a member of the USKBTC.

Jack showed his own Kerries and even got a group placing with a Paxon dog.


Gene Tunney

Kerries must be popular with boxers. Tunney was world heavyweight boxing champion from 1926 to 1928 when he outpointed Jack Dempsey (also a Kerry owner) in ten rounds. In a professional career of 77 fights he only lost once-to Harry Greb in 1922. This sounds like a man who would appreciate a Kerry Blue.

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