On this day in 1896, Dorothy "Dodie" Gladys Smith was born in Lancashire, England. A novelist and playwright, she is known to Disney fans as the author of the 1956 story The Hundred and One Dalmatians (which was later adapted into the 1961 Disney animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians).
As an adult Dodie had pet Dalmatians and one of them was actually named Pongo. (Pongo would be the first of the Dalmatians - voiced by Rod Taylor - in Disney's version.) Upon Pongo's death in 1940, she and her husband acquired two more Dalmatians named Folly and Buzz. In 1943 these two new pets became the proud parents of 15 pups! It is easy to understand her inspiration for her most famous novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Dodie wrote a sequel titled The Starlight Barking, but it bears no resemblance to the Disney sequel 102 Dalmatians.
Her other well-known works include I Capture the Castle, The Town in Bloom and The Midnight Kittens.
Although she passed in 1990, Dodie Smith will be remembered as one of the few successful women dramatists in England and America during the first half of the 20th century.
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