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The Hollywood Legend Who Got Paid Less Than Lassie

If "what's wrong, girl? Did Timmy fall down the well?" jokes weren't a staple of your childhood, then you may be too young to remember the phenomenon that was "Lassie." Lassie was a Rough Collie purebred who, despite always being referred to as female, was actually played by a male. His name was Pal. Not only was he the star of all the "Lassie" movies and filmed the pilot episodes of the show, but his furry descendants also took on the mantle after his death in the summer of 1958 (via Wide Open Pets).

The powerhouse entertainment franchise kicked off in 1943 when "Lassie Come Home" debuted in theaters. The film was so successful that it spawned several more movies, including 1945's "Son of Lassie" and 1946's "Courage of Lassie," as well as a television series that aired on network TV for 20 years (via IMDb). Even in the early days when "Lassie" was just starting to get popular, the dog was such a big deal that he made more money than some of the humans who starred alongside him. And you may be surprised at who earned less than a dog during the early days of her acting career.

Elizabeth Taylor earned a paw-ltry salary compared to her four-legged co-star

Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most iconic actors of her time, as her IMDb profile reminds us. In her early years, she starred as Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," as Catherine Holly in "Suddenly, Last Summer," and as Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Later in life, she was so famous that she didn't have to pretend to be anyone else; several of her final roles were her making special guest appearances as herself on popular shows like "The Simpsons" and "Murphy Brown," among others. But she got started acting at a young age, right alongside the most famous dog in all of film and television.

She was so young and green when she started acting in the "Lassie" movies that the producers didn't give her much in the way of salary. According to TCM, Pal was making more than twice Taylor's rate. While the dog was earning $250 per week (roughly equivalent to about $4,000 today), the young actor was only paid $100 per week (or $1,600 today). It's unclear what the exact reason for the pay disparity between Taylor and her canine co-star was at the time, but at least everything turned out well for her in the end — as far as her overall $1 billion net worth is concerned (via The Hollywood Reporter).