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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Live Action Lady And The Tramp: The Real Life Reference Models


It's not too difficult to imagine Walt Disney's 1955 film, "Lady and the Tramp" as a live action film. Walt Disney himself pretty much created a live action cast in order to create the animated film. The model for Tramp was actually a female dog, and like the Tramp, she almost ended up in the pound.



The inspiration for Lady was a cocker spaniel named Blondie, owned by Disney animator Hamilton Luske. Like Lady, she no doubt had a loving family.

These wonderful pictures are from a fantastic article from a 1988 issue of The Disney Channel Magazine celebrating the world television premiere of "Lady and the Tramp" on May 7th. "A Dog's-Eye View of Life" was written by writer and film historian Frank Thompson.


This article offered a glimpse of the behind-the scenes work it took to make Walt Disney's beloved film a reality.

(The little clip above is out of order here, but I wanted to include everything from the article for posterity. Call me a modern day microfiche).



Here is Frank Thompson's article. You can zoom in on things so you don't hurt your eyes.



I'm happy that the real-life Tramp ended up in a good home! Since the model for Tramp was actually a female, I originally had a different title for this post: "The Tramp Was A Lady!"

The talented Peggy Lee was a major player in "Lady and the Tramp."


Some years ago, Walt Disney World had commercials featuring real dogs (inspired by "Lady and the Tramp") enjoying a visit to the Resort. I got a kick out of learning that the "Tramp" dog in the ad was really female, and the "Lady" dog was actually a male.

8 comments:

  1. Great info and photos, Dan. I love Peggy Lee! I was so glad when she won her lawsuit against Disney in the nineties.

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  2. Thank you, TokyoMagic! It was really happy to see that the 50th Anniversary Edition DVD of Lady and the Tramp included segments from the old Disneyland TV shows featuring Peggy Lee and the animation staff working on the film. Peggy Lee clearly gave all she had to contribute to the movie, creating some of the most memorable songs ever. I'm glad things worked out for her, too!

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  3. I didn't know that Peggy Lee was the voice of the cats, too. That's cool.

    This may be included in the newsclips, but I didn't read them all, so I'll throw it out anyway: I read somewhere that Lee's character in the movie was originally going to be named Mamie, but there was some concern about this vixen-y jailbird dog sharing the same name as the current First Lady (Mrs. Eisenhower). So they asked Peggy Lee is she would mind if they named the dog after her, and she was apparently delighted.

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  4. Hey Peyton! I had not heard that before. Thanks for the bit of trivia!

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  5. Hi I am thrilled to see the articles about lady and the tramp. My dad, Hamilton Luske was an animator on the film and my dog, blonde was the model for lady. I used to bathe her and brush her so she looked beautiful before going to work with my dad. Blonde was the sweetest and best dog a little girl could have. She lived to over 15 years as she was so pampered. Peg Luske finefrock

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  6. Hey smileypeggy! I'm glad the real Lady had such a happy life. Thank you so much for writing! :-)

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  7. i wonder what kind of dog the real trammp was, i mean i know hes a mutt in all but i wonder what breeds he ha in him

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  8. Rockell B.: When I first posted this Lady and the Tramp story, a dog discussion forum grabbed the photos and linked to my post, and it seems like they figured out Tramp's mix---but I can't remember what it was!

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