One of the most prolific actors of Hollywood has over six hundred acting credits to his name, but you haven’t even heard of him. Yet, if you are fan of old black & white movies from the 1950s, especially those by Frank Capra, you must have surely seen him on screen. He is Jimmy the raven.
Jimmy belonged to Hollywood animal trainer Curly Twiford, who reportedly found the baby raven, starving in an abandoned nest in the Mojave Desert in 1934. He adopted the young bird and named him Jimmy. Twiford trained Jimmy to do an assortment of tricks which would make him useful in movies. Ravens are smart creatures, and it didn’t take Twiford to teach the bird how to type and open letters, put coins in piggy banks, light cigarettes, and so on. He could even ride a custom-built miniature motorcycle.
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Jimmy pecking at a typewriter. Credit: Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection