Terry, born in the midst of the Great Depression, was trained and owned by Carl Spitz. Her first film appearance was in Ready For Love which was released on November 30, 1934 roughly one month before her first major film appearance, with Shirley Temple, in 1934's Bright Eyes as Rags. She, who did her own stunts, almost lost her life during the filming of The Wizard of Oz when one of the Winkie guards accidentally stepped on her, breaking her foot. She spent two weeks recuperating at Judy Garland's residence, and Garland developed a close attachment to her. Garland wanted to adopt her, but Spitz refused. Her salary, $125 per week, was more than that of many human actors in the film, and also more than many working Americans at the time. She attended the premiere of The Wizard of Oz at Grauman's Chinese Theater; because of the popularity of the film, her name was changed to Toto in 1942. She had 16 total film appearances, three of which were playing in theaters at the same time in the fall of 1939: The Wizard of Oz, The Women and Bad Little Angel. Her last film was Tortilla Flat (1942), in which she was reunited with Oz director Victor Fleming and Frank Morgan, who played the Wizard.
Terry was the mother of Rommy, another movie Cairn terrier, who appeared in other films including Reap the Wild Wind (1942) and Air Force (1943).