Lassie: The Collie Who Saved People On TV For 60 Years

By | February 6, 2018

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Left: A 14-year-old Elizabeth Taylor with Lassie in the 1946 film 'Courage of Lassie.' Right: The classic TV show cast of Lassie, June Lockhart, Hugh Reilly and John Provost. Sources: API/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Wikimedia Commons

Of all the TV and movie dogs, the collie named Lassie is top dog in every measurable way. The Lassie TV series ran for 19 seasons, tallying 591 episodes. The TV show (in some form) has been revived on three separate occasions. There have been 10 Lassie movies, and there was even a Lassie Playstation video game. And at least 13 different dogs have portrayed Lassie on screen. Rin Tin Tin had an impressive run before Lassie, and latter-day would-be Lassies like Benji, Beethoven, and Hooch have all seen their moments in the sun, but Lassie is the institution.

Lassie was last seen on TV in the 2015-16 animated series Lassie, which lasted for 26 episodes.

The 'Lassie' TV Series Lasted 19 Seasons, Going Through Three Families And The Forest Service

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The charismatic collie was the real star of the show -- over its run from 1954-74, Lassie faithfully served the Miller family (1954-57), the Martin family (1957-64), the U.S. Forest Service (1964-70). In the 1970-71 season, with no explanation, Lassie struck out on her own, sometimes getting into plotlines that involved humans, although some episodes in this season were animals-only. For the series' final two seasons, Lassie lived with the Holdens on their ranch, which was a home for orphaned boys.