Lion - MGM's trademark lion mascot (a.k.a."Leo") is seen at the
beginning of every MGM feature film. Leo first roared July 31, 1928 for the
debut of the movie White Shadows of the South Seas. The roar was heard via a
phonograph record since it was a silent movie. The MGM lion logo was created in
1916 for the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation by advertising executive Howard Dietz.
The logo was based on the Columbia University fight song Roar, Lion, Roar. In
1924, when Goldwyn merged with Metro and Louis B. Mayer, the lion logo became
the trademark for the new company. Over the years a number of lions have
portrayed Leo including Slats, Jackie and Tanner.
Around the circle that framed
Leo the Lion in the beginning of each film, the MGM motto "Ars Gratia Artis"
(Art for Art's Sake) was displayed. The history of the MGM Studios was
chronicled in the video When the Lion Roars (1991).
TRIVIA NOTE: The Mary Tyler
Moore MTM productions parodied the MGM lion logo by using a sweet little kitty
cat meowing at the end of each of their show's. Leo the lion was also the name
of the simple hand puppet with wide eyes and spiky whiskers used as commercial
spokesperson for the Lyons Moving & Storage Company in the 1950s. Leo wore a
moving man's uniform with bow-tie and a hat.
See also CATS: "MTM Kitty (Mimsey)"
Back to Top