Frank Inn might not have lived in Burbank, but he certainly helped
put the city on the map when he rescued a scruffy puppy from the
Burbank Animal Shelter. The mutt went on to star as Benji in several
Inn died July 27 at a nursing home in Sylmar. He was 86.
Inn did not take in Higgins, who later became Benji, with the
thought of making him a star. The poodle-terrier- cocker spaniel mix
was the last of a litter dropped off at the shelter in 1960 and would
have been put to sleep if Inn had not taken him in. A few years
before, Inn started his own animal training business and a filmmaker
visiting Inn's ranch saw Higgins and knew he had found the right dog
for the job.
"Higgins was an all-Amer- ican cross between Burbank and
Hollywood," Inn said in an interview a year ago with the Leader. At
the time, Inn was searching for a new Benji for a Christmas-themed
Inn was born in Canby, Ind., and made his way to California by
working odd jobs along the way, including one as a circus clown. Inn
was a lifelong member of the Burbank chapter of the Full Gospel
Business Men's Fellowship. Inn is survived by two daughters, Kathleen
Hees and Lori Grajeda; two grand- children; and two great-
His viewing will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Noble Mortuary,
1231 First St. in San Fernando. A memorial service is scheduled for
10 a.m. Monday at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 19700 Rinaldi St. in
Northridge. Internment will follow at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. A
reception will follow at Inn's home, 14580 Bledsoe St. in Sylmar.