Our Gang’s Pete the Pup’s Still Popular 60+ Years Later

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Our Gang’s Pete the Pup’s Still Popular 60+ Years Later

October 11, 2013

That unforgettable pup with the ringed-eye in the 1920’s & 30’s, Our Gang series still stirs the memory of generations of children...right on down to today.

 

Pete the Pup (also known as Petey) was actually the second in line for the role.  His sire was an American Pit Bull Terrier by the name of Pal the Wonder Dog, who had a natural dark ring of fur almost completely around his eye.  The make-up people used dye to finish it off and the it became the character’s unforgettable trademark from that moment on.


Pal the Wonder Dog was first seen a series of Buster Brown comedies in the mid 20‘s before joining the Our Gang cast. Unfortunately, Pal met an untimely end (poison was suspected at the time) and his sire, Lucenay’s Peter (registered as N UKC American Pit Bull Terrier) took over the job.  During the course of this wildly successful series, a few other dogs played Petey but Lucenay’s Pete was the best known.  He was whelped September 6th, 1929, bred by A.A. Keller and owned & trained by Harry Lucenay.

 

If you’re of a mind to buy a DVD of Our Gang (and yes, they’re still available) keep an eye out for the Pete stand-ins.  The make-up people often confused just which eye was ringed (it was the left) and Pete’s ring often appears on the wrong side.

 

While Pete was a huge star of the time, he was first and foremost the Lucenay family dog and was the constant companion of Harry and his young son, Ted.

 

Series producer, Hal Roach decided to keep the distinctive ring, thereby creating one of the most recognized dogs in film history.  The new Pete’s famous ring was added on by none other than famed Hollywood makeup artist, Max Factor, himself. 


Lucenay’s son Ted was a young boy when Pete was in the series and the two were often stopped on their California walks by fans who wanted their picture taken with the dog. 

 

“He was always recognized,” said the younger Lucenay, “Everybody loved him.”


His father, Harry, would often take Pete to the Steel Pier on Atlantic City where fans could meet him and pose for photographs.

 

To validate Pete’s ongoing popularity, one only has to do a quick search of the Internet.  Both Pete and the Our Gang series have numerous websites, both under Our Gang, and the renamed series, the Little Rascals. 


The real Pete passed of old age in 1946 but the fictional character he created seems to live on forever.

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