Daktari facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsDaktari
Clarence and Judy
|Created by||Art Arthur
|Written by||William Clark
Lawrence L. Goldman
Stanley H. Silverman
|Directed by||Paul Landres
|Theme music composer||Shelly Manne
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||89 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Ivan Tors|
|Producer(s)||Leonard B. Kaufman|
|Cinematography||William A. Fraker
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Ivan Tors Productions
Warner Bros. Television
|Original release||January 11, 1966– January 15, 1969|
|Preceded by||Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion|
Daktari (Swahili for "doctor") is an American family drama series that aired on CBS between 1966 and 1969. The series is an Ivan Tors Films Production in association with MGM Television starring Marshall Thompson as Dr. Marsh Tracy, a veterinarian at the fictional Wameru Study Center for Animal Behavior in East Africa.
The show follows the work of Dr. Tracy, his daughter Paula (Cheryl Miller), and his staff, who frequently protect animals from poachers and local officials. Tracy's pets, a cross-eyed lion named Clarence and a chimpanzee named Judy, were also popular characters.
Daktari was based upon the 1965 film Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, which also stars Thompson as Dr. Tracy and Miller as his daughter. The concept was developed by producer Ivan Tors, inspired by the work of Dr. Antonie Marinus Harthoorn and his wife Sue at their animal orphanage in Nairobi. Dr. Harthoorn helped invent the capture gun, and was a tireless campaigner for animal rights. He was known as Daktari by the local Swahili people.
On the series, Clarence did not do all his own stunts; he had a stand-in. Leo (previously known as Zamba), another lion trained by Ralph Helfer, doubled for Clarence whenever any trucks were involved because Clarence was frightened by these vehicles. Leo had his own makeup artist apply cosmetic scarring like Clarence's so that he would resemble Clarence in closeups. An inside joke from the preview trailer for the movie Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion was that Leo the MGM logo was not related to Clarence (in addition to similar appearances, the lions had similar temperaments).
Another less friendly lion, also named Leo, doubled for Clarence in some scenes. He was used only for the snarling scenes and scenes not involving proximity with humans. His ferocity was genuine, the result of physical abuse by his previous owners.
- Marshall Thompson as Dr. Marsh Tracy
- Cheryl Miller as Paula Tracy
- Hedley Mattingly as District Officer Hedley
- Hari Rhodes as Mike Makula
- Yale Summers as Jack Dane (1966–1968)
- Ross Hagen as Bart Jason (1968–1969)
- Erin Moran as Jenny Jones (1968–1969)
- Judy the Chimp as Judy
Judy the Chimp also portrayed "Debbie the Bloop" on Lost in Space.
Clarence the Lion died at the age of 7 on July 14, 1969, six months after Daktari was last telecast on CBS. When he was not being filmed, the lion was booked as an attraction at expositions and died in Peoria, Illinois, where he was scheduled to appear at the "Heart of Illinois Fair".
The series was broadcast in four seasons, the first in early 1966, and the last three each beginning in September of 1966, 1967, and 1968. List of Daktari episodes
Broadcast history and Nielsen ratings
The original broadcasts in the US were on CBS.
|Season||Time slot (ET)||Rank||Rating|
|1965–66||Tuesday at 7:30 pm||14||23.9|
|1966–67||7||23.4 (Tied with Bewitched and The Beverly Hillbillies)|
|1967–68||Not in the Top 30|
|1968–69||Wednesday at 7:30 pm|
According to IMDB it was also broadcast on TV channels in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and (dubbed) in France.
Daktari Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.