Kevin Corcoran

Old Yeller

Old Yeller was a children’s book adapted for the screen by Disney in 1957. The story is about a poor post-civil war family who is very poor. While tending to the livestock one day, the older son (Travis – played by Tommy Kirk) notices a stray dog. He tries to shoo the dog away but the younger son (Arliss – played by Kevin Corcoran) becomes quite attached to the dog. Their mother (Katie – played by Dorothy McGuire) reasons that they could use a good dog around the house. The dog was named “Old Yeller” (yellow) due to his yellowish color. He was played by a mixed breed (yellow lab / mastiff mix) adopted out of the Van Nuys Animal Shelter in Van Nuys, California by trainers Frank and Rudd Weatherwax named “Spike” (he wasn’t credited for the role). Spike also had an uncredited role in the 1957 fantasy-horror film, “The She-Creature”. In the book Old Yeller was a Black Mouth Cur.

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