Benji is the name of a fictitious dog who was the focus of several movies in the 1970s and 1980s. His character was a lovable mutt who had an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time, usually helping a person overcome a problem. Perhaps not as dashing as Lassie (another dog movie star), Benji was shown to have been just as smart.
Joe Camp is the creator and director of the Benji films. The first movie, called Benji, was filmed in the Dallas, Texas area and was released in 1974. The park scenes, as well as the municipal building, were filmed in Denton, TX. The outdoor scenes were filmed primarily in McKinney, Texas and the house located at 1104 S. Tennessee (now a bed and breakfast) served as the 'haunted house' in the movie. The most recent Benji movie, Benji: Off the Leash! was released in 2004, and is also known as Benji Returns: Rags to Riches and Benji Returns: The Promise of Christmas.
The real name of the dog who first played Benji was "Higgins". Higgins had a role in the TV show Petticoat Junction in the mid 1960s, as did Edgar Buchanan, who also starred in the first movie. Higgins was trained by Frank Inn, who found him in an animal shelter in Burbank, California. As with Lassie, Higgins' progeny have replaced him in later movies; dogs do not have forty-year lifespans.
A 1980s TV show titled Here's Boomer featured an acting dog that was a lot like Benji. In 1983, Benji starred in the children's science fiction television series Benji, Zax and the Alien Prince.
Benji is also short for the name "Benjamin." Some boys who are named Benjamin go by the nickname "Benji" or "Benjy."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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