One of the prominent movie studios focused on fun during the silent film era was Keystone Studios, founded by Mack Sennett, who was known as the "King of Comedy." The namesake Keystone Cops first appeared in 1912. The studio's first dog star, Luke the Dog, appeared in the comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's very popular movies beginning in 1914.
By 1915, Luke the Dog was a "bone-afide" dog star, earning the title role of Fido in Fatty's Faithful Fido (1915), which launched the popularity of that name for pet dogs. Luke the Dog starred in a dozen more films through 1920, with his final role alongside the famously funny Buster Keaton.
To capitalize on the success of their dog star, Keystone placed a Great Dane named Teddy in films beginning in 1916. In 1917, Teddy, also known as Teddy the Dog or Keystone Teddy, was so popular that he too became the namesake star of Teddy at the Throttle in 1917.
Teddy's adorable antics combined with his heroic efforts added up to a hugely successful film and franchise. The movie launched the popularity of Great Danes as pets, as well as a string of about 60 short movies featuring Teddy, both comedies and dramas, through 1924.
Weighing in at 145 pounds and standing 42 inches tall, Teddy was literally and financially one of the Keystone Studio's biggest stars—canine or human. His costar in Teddy at the Throttle, Gloria Swanson, also became one of Hollywood's biggest stars, to say the least, so it's truly a cinema classic.
Thanks to the Silent Film Channel for preserving the legacy of Teddy.