I, Toto is Featured Book for June 2015


During the expansion of the Ventura Freeway in Los Angeles, Willard Carroll unearthed a leatherbound scrapbook from a site that was once a pet cemetery. To his amazement, its yellowing pages contained the rags-to-riches story of Terry, the female brindle cairn terrier who played Toto in the enduring film The Wizard of Oz.  [Incidentally, Terry was paid a $125 salary each week during the filming of The Wizard of Oz, which was far more than many of the human actors.]

Terry’s official studio portrait.

When she died in 1945, Terry’s manager and animal trainer, Carl Spitz, buried her on his ranch in Studio City, CA. However, the construction of the Ventura Freeway in 1958 destroyed her grave [which led to Carroll’s discovery]. On June 18, 2011 a permanent memorial for Terry was dedicated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

I, Toto traces the canine star’s tragic beginnings, her exhilarating film career [she appeared in 13 different films!], and her happy retirement in Southern California with Carl Spitz. This book offers the inside scoop on Toto’s signature role, her costars [including Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford], and the making of The Wizard of Oz. Toto’s lovingly illustrated scrapbook features 150 photographs collected over the dog’s life.

Willard Carroll is an Emmy Award–winning producer, writer, and director. He has written and directed the feature films The RunestoneTom’s Midnight GardenPlaying by Heart, and Marigold. He has amassed the world’s largest collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia, documented in 100 Years of Oz: A Century of Classic Images from The Wizard of Oz Collection of Willard Carroll. Together with Tom Wilhite, he founded the National Oz Museum.

I, Toto is part of the Allan Rogg Collection and is located in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library. Please come visit us and learn more about this star canine!

Terry working with Shirley Temple in the film “Bright Eyes.”