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(by Steve Tillotson, December 2015) PHOTO John Barrymore's Afghan hound Viola

The actor John Barrymore died May 29, 1942 after a 10 day illness. In his last will and testament he specified -

"My dog (his faithful Afghan hound "Viola") to my gardner Mark Nishimura ("Nishi" had been the actors trusted servant for 15 years but in 1942 he was interned in Monzanar as an alien enemy). To complicate the situation, Viola gave birth to five Afghan hound puppies during the period of Barrynmore's terminal illness. Barrymore's attorney Earl Moss stated that he was trying to determine the legal status of Viola's family. Eventually it was decided that Viola would be sold at auction and Viola was purchased by Barrymore's brother LionEl Barrymore. One of the puppies was sold to Barrymore's ex wife Dolores Costello PHOTO John Barrymore's Afghan hound Viola

A press report dated 19 September 1942 states that every weekend Lional Barrymore stops off at the ranch of his friend and neighbour Jack Oakie (Oakvardon Afghan hounds) to visit Viola where she was born and is now kept. Apparently Lionel Barrymore's pugnacious Scotty, Johnny won't stand for other dogs on his ranch.

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