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He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, White Shadows on the South Seas.

Since 1923 MGM had used a lion as its trademark. The first was actually called Slats and he was not even America, having been born in Dublin zoo.

In 1928 Slats was replaced by the almost identical Jackie and it was Jackie whose roar was heard by audiences. Jackie growled softly; this was followed by a louder growl, a brief pause, and then a final growl, before looking off to one side. In the early years that this logo was used, there was a slightly extended Jackie logo wherein, after growling, the lion looked off to one side and returned its gaze to the front seconds later. Jackie appeared on all black and white MGM films (1928–1956) and MGM’s Happy Harmonies cartoons (1934–1938), as well as the sepia-tinted opening credits of The Wizard of Oz. Despite Jackie’s “official” introduction in 1928, the lion had been used – but not heard – on three earlier films: Greed (1924), Ben-Hur (1925), and Flesh and the Devil (1926).

Despite the nickname none of the – so far – five lions have been called Leo.

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  1. On 31st July 1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time « greatbizinfo - March 27, 2012

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