The most asked question about Pete is: "Where'd he get that ring around his eye?" In the book: 'A Peek at the Past' Jean Darling writes: "Something else I don't understand is why "Pete the Pup" is used in cast listings of comedies made during my time on the lot. The first Pete joined "Our Gang" for one reason only. He had been born with a black ring three-quarters of the way around his eye. This marking was so unique it became a much advertized feature of "Our Gang" and he was always referred to as Pete, the-dog-with-the-ring-around-his-eye, especially when the circle had been enhanced with a bit of hair dye on the tip of a paint brush wielded by the deft hand of his trainer.
Hal Roach hired a then unknown artist to complete the circle around Pete's eye, his name was Max Factor, he went on to become one of Hollywood's most celebrated makeup artists.
The ring around Pete's eye was such an oddity that it became certified by Ripley's Believe It or Not.
The most famous was named Lucenay's Peter who was whelped Sept 6, 1929, he was bred by A.A. Keller, his owner/ trainer was Lt. Harry Lucenay who was fired after a couple years and a new bloodline was introduced.
Petey was signed in 1929 to a three-year contract with six months options. His starting salary was $125 per week, which would be raised in increments of $25 per week to make him exclusive to Hal Roach studios.(from Cult Movies Magazine)
Petes mother and father both were seen in episodes of the Our GangComedies. I beleive the dog seen on page 19 of Leonard Maltin's "Life and Times of the Our Gang" book was Pansy, Lucenay's Peter's mother, his father was Pal the Wonder Dog (the first Pete).
Lucenay's Peter was a Pitbull, he was duel regestered as an AKC Staffordshire Terrier and as a UKC APBT (1941) Reg. 22558. This Pete died in 1946.
The first Pete was already an established actor before his Our Gang fame. He was called Pal the Wonder Dog and starred as Buster Browns dog Tige where he first obtained that cRaZy ring around his eye. The ring was made with permanent dye, so Hal Roach had no choice but to accept Petey as he was. (Cult Movies)
Pete was also in featured films! He was in Harold Lloyd's "The Freshman" (1923), he was Fatty Arbuckles pal in "Buzzin' Around" and was also seen seen with Stan Laurel in "Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride".
He was also seen in Paramount's "Broadway Highlights" newsreel where he was seen with a mug of beer as he was initiated into "The Lambs Club".
In 1993 a new Petey reintroduced a new generation of children to Spanky and the Gang in a movie called "The Little Rascals".
Only two dogs have Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Didja guess?? Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. Would be nice to see Petie there also;)
leonard Maktin's book also gives credit to Pete "Pansy" the Pup on page 64 in "Playing Hooky". Pansy was Lucenay's Peter's mother. Was the dog in this episode the real Pansy? OR if you read the storyline was Pansy just the name of the dog in that episode played by Pete (Pal)?
Pete (Pal) was also in the very first episode of Our Gang where he's listed as 'Pete the Dog'.(IMDB - International Movie Data Base)
Petey was in a total of 77 Our Gang Comedies, Pal the Wonder Dog was in 13 of these during the silent era.
Three other Pete the Pups are out there unrelated to our favorite pooch. One was seen in cartoon form on "Scooby Doo, Where Are You." Another was a cartoon from an "ABC WEEKEND SPECIALS" called "The Puppy Saves the Circus" in the 1980's. The third is a wooden puppet found on eBay's Auctions when putting keyword: Pete the Pup in their Search Engine. He was from a 1920's cartoon called Pete the Pup, after the cartoons demise Hal Roach created his own version of the dog for Our Gang. My question is, Was Hal Roach inspired by this cartoon character to create Petey?
My beleif is that as many as 10 different dogs played the role of a Pete the Pup, I'm also including the dog who was in the 1990's Little Rascals movie and the 1920's cartoon who I beleive he was based on.
In 1936 Pete once again joined Our Gang, but for a personal appearance tour.(Cult Movies)
Lucenay's Peter went on special tours across America meeting children for photograph sessions (see photos). He was often seen at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City N.J. This was the second dog to play Pete, Harry Lucenay after being fired from the Hal Roach Studios obviously cashed in on Petes fame. Ohhhh... what a joy it must have been to meet Pete!
If ANY information is wrong on this page, or you have
something to add, please e-mail me. Partial information was taken from Leonard Maltin's book "Life and Times of the Our Gang", a must read if your a fan of this
comedy show and "A Peek at the Past" by Jean Darling. Also I'd like to give thanks to Our Gang members Jean Darling and Shirley Jean "Rickert" Measures who helped me in getting to know a little more about Petey for this site.