Frank Inn

Animal Trainer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Frank Inn (1916-2002) talks about his early years, and his first job on the MGM lot as a laborer. He describes training a dog after a terrible car accident, and coming to the attention of Hollywood animal trainer Henry East. He recalls working with animal trainer (and "Lassie" owner) Rudd Weatherwax on several classic films, and eventually working as a trainer on the television series Lassie. Inn recounts starting his own business and working as an animal trainer on several classic features including "Giant" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's." He recalls acting as animal trainer on several television series including I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, and on Green Acres where he trained "Arnold" the pig. He speaks of working on the "Benji" series of films, and details the keys to his success as an animal trainer in Hollywood. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on August 8, 2001 in Sylmar, CA.

"All animals are intelligent, just like people, but they must be educated. The smartest dog in the world is not going to learn to do tricks and behave if somebody doesn’t teach him. And the smartest man in the world, if he doesn’t live with the animal, and love the animal, is not going to be able to train him."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for "Arnold," the pig on Green Acres
Frank Inn on his trademark hat, and a poem he wrote about his career
Frank Inn on the specific talents an animal trainer must possess
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Beverly Hillbillies
Frank Inn on working with "Lassie" on Lassie
Frank Inn on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences
On changing his name; on getting his start in show business at the MGM studio lot as a laborer; on the MGM lot in the late 1930s

Chapter 2

On working as a rodeo clown with Slim Pickens; on training a bull; on learning to train horses, and on his life-altering car accident
On training a dog after his car accident; on meeting Hollywood animal trainer Henry East

Chapter 3

On meeting celebrity animal trainer Henry East; on his duties working for Henry East; on going to work for Hollywood animal trainer Rennie Renfro, and on working with Rudd Weatherwax on various classic feature films
On helping to train "Daisy," the dog from the "Blondie" series of feature films; on working for Hollywood animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax on several classic films, and on acting as a double in several features
On the colorful personality of "Lassie" trainer Rudd Weatherwax; on what he learned from "Lassie" trainer Rudd Weatherwax, and on Weatherwax retaining the rights to "Lassie"

Chapter 4

On Rudd Weatherwax losing "Lassie" to John Wayne in a poker game; on the original feature film "Lassie," and on the inception of the Lassie television series; on shooting Lassie in Canada
On working with "Lassie" on Lassie; on teaching "Lassie" tricks on Lassie; on working with a cat on the feature "Rhubarb"

Chapter 5

On acting as a cat trainer for the feature film "Rhubarb"; on Lassie and the PATSY awards, and on the end of his association with Rudd Weatherwax
On starting his own Hollywood animal training business; on acting as animal trainer for "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; on starting his own animal training company, Frank Inn Incorporated; on acting as animal trainer for The Roy Rogers Show

Chapter 6

On acting as animal trainer for The Beverly Hillbillies; on the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies; on The Beverly Hillbillies creator Paul Henning
On working with the various animals on The Beverly Hillbillies; on the bloodhound that is seen in the opening of The Beverly Hillbillies, and on how he came to work for Petticoat Junction; on working on the feature film "Benji"

Chapter 7

On working with Joe Camp on the "Benji" feature films; on acting as animal trainer for Petticoat Junction
On acting as animal trainer for "Arnold," the pig on Green Acres; on working with the cast of Green Acres
On training "Tramp," the dog on My Three Sons; on choosing what projects to work on; on training "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy

Chapter 8

On "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy, and on working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball; on acting as animal trainer for The Andy Griffith Show; on working for producer Sheldon Leonard on The Andy Griffith Show
On acting as animal trainer for the feature film "Giant" starring James Dean; on the keys to his success as an animal trainer; on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers, and on the specific talents they must possess

Chapter 9

On his technique training animals; on his more popular animals like "Arnold," the pig from Green Acres and "Benji"; on the difference between training male dogs and female dogs, and on his animals getting awards
On his trademark hat, and a poem he wrote about his career; on how he'd like to be remembered
On b-roll pictures from his career- with "Benji"; wall with several pictures from his career; Donna Douglas riding an elephant; on the set of The Beverly Hillbillies; with a basset hound; with "Lassie"; on the set of Lassie; article about Frank Inn and "Arnold" the pig from Green Acres; Frank Inn's home filled with pictures and memorabilia
Shows

Andy Griffith Show, The

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Andy Griffith Show
Frank Inn on working for producer Sheldon Leonard on The Andy Griffith Show

Beverly Hillbillies, The

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Beverly Hillbillies
Frank Inn on the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies
Frank Inn on The Beverly Hillbillies creator Paul Henning
Frank Inn on working with the various animals on The Beverly Hillbillies
Frank Inn on the bloodhound that is seen in the opening of The Beverly Hillbillies, and on how he came to work for Petticoat Junction

Green Acres

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for "Arnold," the pig on Green Acres
Frank Inn on working with the cast of Green Acres
Frank Inn on his more popular animals like "Arnold," the pig from Green Acres and "Benji"

I Love Lucy

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Frank Inn on training "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy
Frank Inn on "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy, and on working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

Lassie

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Frank Inn on the original feature film "Lassie," and on the inception of the Lassie television series
Frank Inn on shooting Lassie in Canada
Frank Inn on working with "Lassie" on Lassie
Frank Inn on teaching "Lassie" tricks on Lassie
Frank Inn on Lassie and the PATSY awards, and on the end of his association with Rudd Weatherwax

My Three Sons

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Frank Inn on training "Tramp," the dog on My Three Sons

Petticoat Junction

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Frank Inn on the bloodhound that is seen in the opening of The Beverly Hillbillies, and on how he came to work for Petticoat Junction
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for Petticoat Junction

Roy Rogers Show, The

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Roy Rogers Show
Topics

Advice

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Frank Inn on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Frank Inn on meeting celebrity animal trainer Henry East
Frank Inn on his animal training mentor Henry East
Frank Inn on his duties working for Hollywood animal trainer Henry East

Pivotal Career Moments

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Frank Inn on meeting Hollywood animal trainer Henry East
Frank Inn on meeting celebrity animal trainer Henry East
Frank Inn on his animal training mentor Henry East
Frank Inn on his duties working for Hollywood animal trainer Henry East

Television Industry

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Frank Inn on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers
Professions

Animal Trainer

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Frank Inn on the keys to his success as an animal trainer
Frank Inn on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers
Frank Inn on the specific talents an animal trainer must possess
Frank Inn on his technique training animals
Frank Inn on the difference between training male dogs and female dogs, and on his animals getting awards

Production Professionals

View Profession
Frank Inn on the keys to his success as an animal trainer
Frank Inn on advice to aspiring Hollywood animal trainers
Frank Inn on the specific talents an animal trainer must possess
Frank Inn on his technique training animals
Frank Inn on the difference between training male dogs and female dogs, and on his animals getting awards
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Beverly Hillbillies
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer on Green Acres
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for Petticoat Junction
Frank Inn on "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy, and on working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Andy Griffith Show

Drama Series

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Frank Inn on working as a trainer on Lassie
Frank Inn on Lassie and the PATSY awards, and on the end of his association with Rudd Weatherwax

Western Series

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Roy Rogers Show
People

Eddie Albert

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Frank Inn on working with the cast of Green Acres: Eddie Albert

Desi Arnaz

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Frank Inn on "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy, and on working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

Max Baer

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Frank Inn on the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies: Max Baer

Lucille Ball

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Frank Inn on "Little Ricky's" dog on I Love Lucy, and on working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

James Dean

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for the feature film "Giant" starring James Dean

Buddy Ebsen

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Frank Inn on the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies: Buddy Ebsen

Eva Gabor

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Frank Inn on working with the cast of Green Acres: Eva Gabor

Paul Henning

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Frank Inn on The Beverly Hillbillies creator Paul Henning

Sheldon Leonard

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Frank Inn on working for producer Sheldon Leonard on The Andy Griffith Show

Irene Ryan

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Frank Inn on the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies: Irene Ryan

John Wayne

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Frank Inn on Rudd Weatherwax losing "Lassie" to John Wayne in a poker game

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