Vintage: Hollywood Lion – Fearless Fagan in 1951

Vintage: Hollywood Lion – Fearless Fagan in 1951


The lion was owned by Floyd C. Humeston, who raised Fagan from a cub. In the early 1950s, Humeston was drafted into the Army and couldn’t find a suitable caretaker for his pet lion.

Humeston first raised suspicions when he requested an emergency 14-day furlough to take care of his giant pet. Without a permanent home for Fagan, Humeston then asked to bring his pet with him to training at California’s Fort Ord, explains Hal Erickson in “Military Comedy Films.” The request denied, Fagan lived briefly at the Monterey Humane Society before being placed in a circus.

Fagan the lion on an MGM set, 1951.

Fagan the lion on an MGM set, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

From a chauffer-driven convertible Fagan trades glances with fellow M-G-M star Esther Williams.

From a chauffer-driven convertible Fagan trades glances with fellow M-G-M star Esther Williams. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

A photographer shoots publicity photos of Fagan the lion, 1951.

A photographer shoots publicity photos of Fagan the lion, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951.

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Floyd Humeston and Fagan the lion outside the Thalberg Building, Hollywood, 1951.

Floyd Humeston and Fagan the lion outside the Thalberg Building, Hollywood, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion, ready for his makeup, 1951.

Fagan the lion, ready for his makeup, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion in his "dressing room" in 1951.

Fagan the lion in his “dressing room” in 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion with movie producer Sidney Franklin, 1951.

Fagan the lion with movie producer Sidney Franklin, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Owner Floyd Humeston leads Fagan the lion to the camera department for a posing test, 1951.

Owner Floyd Humeston leads Fagan the lion to the camera department for a posing test, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951.

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951.

Fagan the lion on the MGM lot, 1951. Photo by Loomis Dean – TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images


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