“The 1927 recording of the roar of Leo the Lion, which would become the trademark of all Metro Goldwyn Meyer movies.”
Hollywood’s premier animal trainer Volney Phifer never thought that he would become inseparable with the cub he found in Port Sudan, Africa. Leo, the MGM lion, that led an amazing life was the straggliest lion Phifer had ever laid eyes on .
“Leo never let me down,” said Phifer.
While touring the globe for MGM studios, Leo earned a reputation of being a cat with nine lives; he survived two train wrecks, a flood in Mississippi, an earthquake in California, a fire and a plane crash.
Samuel Goldwyn selected Leo to represent Goldwyn Company as its trademark when he saw the cub developed into a handsome animal. It was then when Leo retired from his acting career.
Leo died at the age of 23, an old age for a lion, leaving many descendants. His body rests on Phifer’s farm in Gillette, New Jersey.