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Daktari Season 3 on DVD is here!

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com Daktari The Complete ThirdSeason2It’s here! Daktari Season 3 is here on DVD! This makes it likely there will be a Season 4 release in the future as well. Very cool!

Check out this preview from Season Three:

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com Daktari The Complete ThirdSeason videoThe cost is $49.95. Check out the Season Three Guide here.

What do you think of Season Three?
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Daktari on location: Marshall Thompson in the “real” Africa

by Ken Lynch

Much has been written about Daktari being filmed at Africa USA, a simulated jungle compound in California’s desert-like Soledad Canyon. These sequences were usually edited with stock African footage.

However, during the production break between the First and Second Seasons, Marshall Thompson and a film crew visited the ‘real’ Africa and filmed background scenes of him with animals, in the bush and with natives in their villages.

Marshall Thompson filmed on-location as Marsh Tracy in Africa

Marshall Thompson filmed on-location as Marsh Tracy in Africa

These sequences were edited into at least eight episodes to give the series an authentic look that added to its appeal.

Early Visits to Africa

Marshall Thompson’s fascination with Africa became a reality in 1957 when he was chosen for a role in the film East of Kilimanjaro which demanded four months of shooting on-location in Kenya and Tanganyika.

“I guess I would have done the part just for the chance to go to Africa,” Thompson recalled. “I’ll never forget the thrill of my arrival in Nairobi and the realization that I actually was there in the flesh.”

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19680817&id=gnwuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HYoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2044,3335210

There is a strong possibility that unused animal and African village footage from East of Kilimanjaro was used in Daktari and, most certainly, in the film that spawned the series – Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion.

Left:  The rhino scene in a Kilamanjaro poster Right:  The very same scene as featured in Clarence

Left: The rhino scene in a Kilamanjaro poster
Right: The very same scene as featured in Clarence

In particular, the opening scene of Kilimanjarois almost identical to the opening of Clarence. Most significantly, the scene where Thompson’s character has a close encounter with a rhino was inserted directly into Clarence.

Thompson returned to Africa for another four months to what was then the Belgian Congo and brought his wife Barbara along.

By early 1966, Thompson was quoted as saying that he had been on “four trips to Africa in the past dozen years.”

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1734&dat=19660423&id=DBscAAAAIBAJ&sjid=GVEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6931,4069838

Filming African Footage for Daktari

To date, the reference most quoted about Marshall Thompson’s African visit to film for Daktari is sourced to the show’s producer Leonard B Kaufman. Specifically, the liner notes for Shelly Manne’s “Daktari” CD quote Kaufman on filming Daktari in “beautiful but primitive Mozambique”, particularly returning with Thompson “from 10 hours of location filming” and relaxing to “the haunting and earthy sounds of distant native drumming.”

However, a recently discovered 1966 newspaper article has provided much more detail of this event.

Daktari was regarded as a solid hit after its mid-season debut and screening in January-May 1966. The announcement of its Second Season contained the promise of something new as a result of the first safari to Africa ever undertaken for a television series.

Kaufman and associate producer Ralph Helfer joined Thompson to travel to Mozambique for scenes to be filmed with the Zulu tribes of South Africa. They actually became the first TV unit to make films in the Gorongoza National Park and, later, they also worked in the private game reserve of Mala Mala.

A map showing the location of the Gorongoza National Park

A map showing the location of the Gorongoza National Park

Among scenes that would ultimately be highlights of the Second Season were bull elephants charging at 30 miles an hour and the Zulus of Matavela lining up to greet Thompson.

Marshall Thompson meeting African villagers

Marshall Thompson meeting African villagers

Daktari creator Ivan Tors had heard that a pride of lions had moved into a housing project near the Gorongoza National Park and so the camera crew went there to photograph them. Several abandoned houses were occupied by lions who had taken over the clean shady buildings. It was like a lion city, and the film crew’s presence did not seem to excite them or make them aggressive. The footage from this filming expedition ultimately became a major sequence in the “House of Lions” episode.

Abandoned houses near Gorongoza with lions in the foreground

Abandoned houses near Gorongoza with lions in the foreground

Another event in the African shooting schedule was a two-mile chase after a 19-foot giraffe which ended in its capture. It too ultimately became a major Daktari storyline, this time in the “Little Miss Nightingale” episode

The Daktari crew roping the giraffe with Marshall Thompson turning his head towards the camera

The Daktari crew roping the giraffe with Marshall Thompson turning his head towards the camera

A total of five weeks was spent on this safari for Daktari footage. Thompson then returned to California with 50,000 feet of exposed color film to shoot the bulk of the Second Season at Africa USA.

Although the exact date of the five-week African shoot has never previously been documented, a recently discovered picture of Thompson in Johannesburg dated March 1966 actually pinpoints the period he made this visit.

Marshall Thompson on-location in Africa

Marshall Thompson on-location in Africa

Use of African Footage in Episodes

2.5 (23) “Cheetah at Large” (First aired 11 Oct 1966) On-location African footage of Marshall Thompson is featured for the first time.

Left:  A shot of Thompson in “Cheetah at Large” filmed on-location on the savannah Right:  A close-up taken back at Africa USA cleverly edited into the same sequence

Left: A shot of Thompson in “Cheetah at Large” filmed on-location on the savannah
Right: A close-up taken back at Africa USA cleverly edited into the same sequence

2.8 (26) “The Trial” (First aired 1 Nov 1966) The first on-location shots of Thompson filmed with natives in an African village are seamlessly edited into footage at Africa USA.

Left:  A picture taken on-location in Africa with motifs on the village wall at the back Right:  A picture taken at Africa USA during “The Trial” with the replicated village wall in the background

Left: A picture taken on-location in Africa with motifs on the village wall at the back
Right: A picture taken at Africa USA during “The Trial” with the replicated village wall in the background

2.11 (29) “Shoot to Kill” (First aired 29 Nov 1966) Features on-location African footage of Thompson in the bush plus him getting out of a truck at a real African village.

Left:  A shot from “Shoot to Kill” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush Right:  A shot taken of Thompson arriving at an African village

Left: A shot from “Shoot to Kill” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush
Right: A shot taken of Thompson arriving at an African village

2.13 (31) “Clarence the Killer” (First aired 20 Dec 1966) Several scenes filmed on-location in Africa are used (even one of a figure dressed as Hedley searching the African bush).

Left:  A shot from “Clarence the Killer” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush Right:  A shot of a figure dressed as Hedley filmed on-location on the savannah

Left: A shot from “Clarence the Killer” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush
Right: A shot of a figure dressed as Hedley filmed on-location on the savannah

2.17 (35) “House of Lions” (First aired 17 Jan 1967) Features extensive scenes of Thompson filmed in Africa wandering outside abandoned two-storey houses built for mining surveyors. For the only time in the series, the credits acknowledge the filming location.

Left:  A shot of Thompson in “House of Lions” filmed on-location walking from a house to his truck Right:  A close-up at the truck filmed at Africa USA cleverly edited into the same sequence

Left: A shot of Thompson in “House of Lions” filmed on-location walking from a house to his truck
Right: A close-up at the truck filmed at Africa USA cleverly edited into the same sequence

Left:  Thompson on-location entering the house with his medical kit in “House of Lions” Right:  An internal shot filmed at Africa USA cleverly edited to show him entering the house

Left: Thompson on-location entering the house with his medical kit in “House of Lions”
Right: An internal shot filmed at Africa USA cleverly edited to show him entering the house

The end credits which acknowledge filming at Gorongoza National Park

The end credits which acknowledge filming at Gorongoza National Park

2.22 (40) “A Bullet for Hedley” (First aired 21 Feb 1967) As in Episode 2.13, authentic footage of a game warden (supposedly Hedley) walking on the African savannah is shown.

A shot from “A Bullet for Hedley” of a figure dressed as Hedley filmed on-location

A shot from “A Bullet for Hedley” of a figure dressed as Hedley filmed on-location

3.1 (48) Judy and the Astro-Chimp (First aired 5 Sept 1967) As in Episode 2.11, footage of Marshall Thompson on-location in Africa is used again.

A shot from “Judy and the Astro-Chimp” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush

A shot from “Judy and the Astro-Chimp” taken on-location of Thompson in the real African bush

2.15 (33) Little Miss Nightingale (First aired 3 Jan 1967) Includes on-location scenes of Thompson capturing a giraffe. [Although listed in most episode guides as a Second Season episode, Warner Archive has confirmed that this episode actually belongs to the Third Season]

shots 1-4 from the extended on-location African sequence of the giraffe capture in “Little Miss Nightingale”

shots 1-4 from the extended on-location African sequence of the giraffe capture in “Little Miss Nightingale”

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The next Clarence the cross-eyed lion? Meet Egon, the cross-eyed siamese kitten!

from the Ghostbuster kittens fostered by John Bartlett (“Foster Dad John” or “FDJ”) of The Critter Room for Purrfect Pals no-kill shelter in Arlington, WA. You can watch Foster Dad John’s litters live on Livestream. Warning: VERY addictive! :-)

egon

 

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com clarence the cross-eyed lion

 

 

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Cheryl Miller in 1966 – fascinating interview in Motion Picture magazine

My thanks to Walter, one of our loyal readers, for transcribing this article. Cheryl is a fascinating woman.

Motion Picture Magazine November 1966

Motion Picture Magazine November 1966

Strange men don’t scare me

 Somewhere out there is a two-legged animal just for Cheryl Miller, but for now the star of Daktari prefers the four-legged variety!

By Paul Denis, Motion Picture magazine, November, 1966

Fearless Cheryl Miller is cozy with lions, hyenas, chimps, elephants, tigers and gorillas on her Daktari TV series-and with iguanas, tarantulas, snakes and black widow spiders in her home backyard.

But she’s not afraid of two-legged males, either, even strangers. In fact, blonde Cheryl is one of the few Hollywood actresses who is not afraid of blind dates.

On the contrary, she claims, she has always enjoyed blind dates. “I’ve always had a lot of fun.” she says. “Blind dates are always worth it in one way or another; sometimes they’re even better than the conventional-type dates. Everybody can be interesting, and I learn so much from a blind date – even when I don’t particularly like the boy.”

Most actresses fear – and avoid – blind-dating either because they often get stuck with bores or because the dates end up in wrestling matches in the car or at their front door. But Cheryl insists, “It’s always the girl who sets the pace. A boy won’t try to get fresh unless the girl encourages him. I believe a boy behaves like a gentleman when the girl behaves like a lady. I go into each blind date looking for the best in people.”

Looking for the best in people stems perhaps from her church training. She’s a member of the Bel-Air Presbyterian Church where’s she’s program director and social chairman, as well as vice-president of the college division.

cheryl miller article in motion picture nov. 1966-1Another reason she believes blind dates are more exciting than conventional dates is because “a blind date is a challenge – I rarely know what to expect. This gives the date an extra dimension of excitement. And, of course, I’m not afraid – I can take care of myself!” (A bouncy 5 feet 8 inches, she once placed first in her school’s physical fitness competition.)

“Some of the blind dates, I’ve had,” she admits, “were not the handsomest men in the world – but the handsomest men are not necessarily the most interesting. You can learn a lot from every date. For instance, you cannot be with a very sophisticated man without learning something you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Recently I went out with an agent who really knew his way around. I felt like I was out with royalty: he knew what’s expected from the waiter and the headwaiter and how to order.”

Cheryl’s gone out with younger men, too. “I’ve gone with men four months younger than I, and found them very worthwhile.” But one thing she won’t do is go out with a married man. “I’ve never blind-dated a married man and never intend to.” Her blind dates, she goes on to explain are arranged by friends, who every so often will tell her, “1 know a fellow who’s just right for you.”

Cheryl’s mother, a travel agent, always knows about Cheryl’s blind-dating. “Mother approves,” says Cheryl. “But my parents didn’t meet through a blind date, and neither did my brother Gary, who met his wife when they were both students at Occidental College.” In actual fact, Cheryl’s blind dates are so successful that “I usually go out with them a second and a third time.” And her attitudes on the subject don’t mean that she’s a non-conformist. “It’s just that I’m so busy working on Daktari – blind dating is my only way to meet new men.” There are some bachelors working on Daktari, including her leading man, Yale Summers. “Yale looks 21 but he’s 32 – and he has a girlfriend,” Cheryl elaborates.

cheryl miller article in motion picture nov. 1966-2Daktari, now in its second season on CBS-TV, is filmed in the Mojave Desert, 79 miles from Cheryl’s home in Sherman Oaks, California. Fortunately, the cast and the crew are “very nice, and when you’re stuck in the desert l2 hours a day, it’s lucky to have nice people to work with. Hari Rhodes from our show is teaching me karate. I’m learning it simply because I think it’s a good thing to know, and I’m athletic anyway.

No,” she laughed.” l don‘t intend to use it on my blind dates. So far, I’ve never had to resort to muscle to ward off a blind date. But I have been on blind dates when the car had a flat, and l was the only one who could fix the tire!”

Never married, she does claim she was “informally engaged once. Even though it’s fun being single,” she says wistfully, “I sort of wish the searching and hunting were over with.” Her ideal man as she describes him would be “hard working, able to enjoy light fun, someone who likes himself and is at peace with himself, who can adjust to any situation. I’m a mature person for my age, and I don’t think l could stand an immature man.”

But she insists she’s not depressed about being single. “I know what l want, l know what is going to be right for me. I know a lot of charming men, but l also know that I do not want to marry them.” She is not avoiding marriage, she says, because her own parents divorced some years ago. “And” she claims, “the stuff I know about divorce in Hollywood doesn’t bother me, either.”

Cheryl adds that what make things simpler for her is that her mother doesn’t push her towards marriage. “I have had too many girlfriends whose mothers pushed them into marriage – and it’s no good! And all those fathers who hold back their sons from marrying – that’s not good, either! ” She recalls a certain father who kept telling his son for five years that there was only one girl for him – Cheryl. “Now, this son and I are good friends, and once we decided to teach his father a lesson, once and for all – in the form of a joke. His parents were in Hawaii, and we phoned them there to tell them that we had just eloped.

“When they returned, we met them at the airport wearing wedding rings; we even brought along relatives who kept throwing rice at us. When that rice began to hit us, we both got scared and began to pale a little, thinking maybe this isn’t such a good joke after all. His father couldn’t make up his mind whether we were playing a joke or not. Suddenly seeing his son married was too shocking even to contemplate. So when we finally told him the truth, he was too relieved to be angry. My relations with this boy were strictly platonic, never romantic,” Cheryl added.

Cheryl is not a typical young actress. She’s of the newer breed: educated, active in church, and with cultural interests that go way beyond show business. A grandniece of composer Franz Schubert, she has a degree in music from U.C.L.A. and has studied at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. She’s a singer (MGM Records), plays the piano and classical guitar, and sings in the church choir. “In fact,” she says, “I can fill out any choral group. My voice has a three and a half octave range. If you need a tenor, just send for me!”

She was working with her church’s African Mission, and was offered a chance to go to Bogota, Colombia, to train missionaries in music and sight-reading, communicating with these young people through the international language of music. It was just about that time that Walt Disney decided he wanted her for his movie, “Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion.” She decided to do it.

She has never planned to stay in acting all her life. “I acted in order to get money for my education,” she explains. She is enjoying her first TV series, Daktari, in which she plays the daughter of a doctor working in an animal study center in Africa. “Still,” she says, “I’m trying to be open enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong,” is how she tries to sum it up. “I got my ideas from my family mostly, after all, they’ve lived more years than I have. But I always try to weigh all opinions for myself and decide what’s good for me. “

One of the things she’s gotten from her family is her eagerness to learn. Education was always stressed in her home. “My family is fanatic about learning,” she explained, as she sat in her family’s modestly-furnished frame house just off a highway in the San

Fernando Valley. “Father was an architect during the years when you did not have to have a college education to work at it. My brother Gary graduated from Occidental College, then became a dentist. Mother went to Notre Dame College for women. She taught English before she married, but for 20 years she didn’t work at all. Then, five years after the divorce, she became a travel agent.

“She’s a wonderful woman and I admire her. I remember when I was in school – some mothers were so involved in school and civic affairs they were never home when the kids came home. But my mother was always home. And she introduced me to so much. When I started school, mother had taught me so well that they couldn’t put me in first grade – they had to skip me. And she’s so understanding! When we were growing up she interfered as little as possible in our affairs. She just let us work out our problems for ourselves.

“I guess my brother and I have my mother to thank for our curiosity about so many different subjects.” As proof of this, Cheryl’s lively conversation can touch on Hawaiian real estate (she owns some), and go on to auto-racing, religion, church music, calculus, gentling race horses, art, marital problems, period furniture, investments – and mating iguanas. Mating iguanas? Yes indeed. She bought two iguanas and offered one to her brother. But her brother’s wife adamantly refused to house the iguana, so Cheryl took both home, putting them in cages in the garage. In time, the iguanas accomplished the supposedly impossible feat of mating in captivity. (They average 80 offspring in one litter.) That’s when Cheryl took them out into the desert and let them go free.

“I’ve had thousands of pets but I kept them mostly in our garage, because mother doesn’t like animals. My brother (who’s five years older) and I used to catch lots of wild animals, snakes and insects. He told me once not to be afraid of spiders, so I started to collect them. When I showed them to my mother and she recognized them as black widows, she plain fainted, and had nightmares for a long time after. But they never bit me, so I was never afraid.

cheryl miller article in motion picture nov. 1966-3“I had three tarantulas,” she continued from her vast store of animal love, “and their bite can poison you. But – they never hurt me. I used to let them walk on my hands but photographers kept coming around for pictures of this trick. So I took the tarantulas 90 miles out into the desert and freed them. 1 just can’t bear to hurt an animal.”

Today, the only animals she owns are a Saluki dog named Lilly and a Siamese cat named Worthless. “Worthless had a twin sister, Useless, who died three years ago,” she recounts somewhat sadly.

It was because she handled animals so well on “Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion” that producer Ivan Tors hired her for Daktari. On Daktari she has to be quick, for even “trained animals” can attack. “Each animal has a warning signal,” Cheryl explains. “It may be a movement or it may be a sound, but you must learn to spot the signs – know when an animal is hungry or restless or tired. I always try to treat animals with consideration.”

A strong and athletic girl, Cheryl used to run with her dog three miles before breakfast every morning. Now she doesn’t have the time for that. Besides, lifting a 50-lb. chimp, holding on to a 500-lb. lion and moving among wild animals, which she does for her series, is exercise enough.

She gets more than just exercise on the show. Sometimes she has to run for her life. “Once we were working a lion on a street set, when it suddenly charged.” she recalls. “I ran one way, the trainers ran another, and the crew just scattered in all directions. I spotted an inlet in a wall and dashed in, only to find myself flush up against the back of a frightened cameraman, who was making like he was part of the building. The lion charged toward the nearest highway. Maybe he was heading for Disneyland. But they finally caught him.

“Once l was scratched by a hyena,” she continues, not yet through with her animal adventures. “I’ve been thrown of an elephant’s back while wading in a lake. I’ve been knocked down by ostriches. Once a tiger cub got away from me, and 1 chased it as it ran down toward our stream. I was suddenly knocked down flat by the trainer, who saw the cub but didn’t see me as he jumped from the rise above me. He landed on the side of my leg, rolled off, and jumped into the lake to rescue the cub.”

Despite all this, she still prefers to work with larger animals. “I hate little ones – they’re too sneaky. I’d rather work with a 12-foot python than a little garter snake! At the desert compound where Daktari is filmed, we have yellow jackets and hornets and I was stung a dozen times, but that didn’t bother me. It’s the mosquitoes that bother me. When they bite me, I swell up and get fever!” When she went to Florida to do a few segments of Flipper – that was before Daktari – she got 115 mosquito bites on her leg the very first day. “And I really got sick! They had to spray me, skin and clothes, for l5 minutes at a time, starting at 7:30 A.M.”

Incidentally, when she was working on Flipper she was instructed not to tell her age because her role called for her to be sweet on 16-year old Luke Halpin. But somebody snitched and said she was 22. “Viewers sent in nasty letters that Luke was being ensnared by an older woman!”

Cheryl was a Miss Golden Globe for 1966, she was Walt Disney’s Deb Star for 1965 and does her promotion tours dutifully. But she is not a typical aggressive starlet. She’s a home girl. “We’re family,” she affirms, “and we believe in being together. We do things together. We believe no one else is going to love us as much we love each other.”

She got into show business early in life, really early. When a mere 19 days old she played the baby in Casanova Brown, starring Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright. She and her brother subsequently did hundreds of child roles; but their parents never placed a great deal of emphasis on their careers. As a matter of fact, Cheryl worried more about sports than movie work. She holds the San Fernando Valley record of 6.5 for the

50-yard dash; she surfs with a 10-foot board; She skin-dives and plays a fine game of tennis. In order to work on Flipper without a double, she dove 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean to renew her international diving license.

Yet she is utterly feminine. She’s a gourmet cook; she measures 37-22-35, keeps her weight down to about 114, owns 50 pairs of shoes, about as many dresses and a dozen hats, and has hypnotic eyes – one hazel and one green.

She’s ambitious only in the sense of wanting to be a complete person. “I’m growing up and I’m reaching for answers. I look forward to marriage and children and to an exciting life. But right now I’m too agile-minded to concentrate on one field. I’d like to be able to do everything well. Until you’ve tried every ice-cream flavor, how do you know which is best?” she concludes.

Her hazel-green eyes sparkling, she adds, “Besides, think of all the blind dates still to come!” –PAUL DENIS

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What did Yale Summers really think of Daktari? A surprisingly candid interview

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com judy yale summersby Ken Lynch

Many viewers of Daktari thought that Yale Summers was perfect as Jack Dane. His rapport with animals and Cheryl Miller (his co-star and potential love interest in the show) suggested a long-term stay with the TV series.

But all was not as it seemed behind the scenes!

Revealing The Truth

Very little background has been written about the time Summers spent with the show. However, a recently discovered newspaper article has proved him to be outspokenly honest about what he thought of Daktari.

gastonia article

Gastonia Gazette July 1966

http://newspaperarchive.com/us/north-carolina/gastonia/gastonia-gazette/1966/07-31/page-34

The article even offers clues as to why he quit the series before its final season, and why he later became a longtime union activist.

Appearing in Daktari

Yale Summers was a founding cast member of Daktari in 1966 coming directly from “General Hospital”, the daily afternoon soap.

In doing so, the article reveals he discovered that “Producers don’t exactly give actors who appear on afternoon series due regard. I told them I was appearing on “General Hospital” and got a sort of embarrassed laugh in return. They wanted to know what I had done in bigger shows. And all the time I thought it would be a great credit in my favor appearing on what is really a live daily show. This is a funny business.”

Summers actually read for and received his role as Jack Dane on one day, was given his familiar blue shirt and jeans costume on the next and filmed his first scene with Clarence the lion on the third day. This was without any knowledge of animals or how they would react.

In fact, Summers’ honesty about this situation even revealed itself in an official Daktari press release in which he is quoted as saying “I never wanted to be an actor and I always had an ambivalence about animals.”

The press release which includes Summers’ comments

The press release which includes Summers’ comments

Although one might think his move to Daktari was a step up the TV ladder, Summers felt that he had “stepped down in quality”. He apparently agreed with Marshall Thompson, the star of the series, that the quality of the scripts was proving to be a problem.

Referring to the two-part episode titled “Wall of Flames” as an example, he said “Cheryl and I are trapped in the jungle. There’s fire all around us. The drama comes from the way we manage to survive and save some of the animals on the preserve. This wasn’t dangerous enough. They had to throw in some poachers with guns. This seems to be their only answer to what is dangerous and what isn’t. It’s this way every week. I think we ought to create a new award – for the poacher of the week.”

The continuation of this approach may partially explain why Summers ultimately left Daktari after the first three seasons: “I had to realize the scenes are limited by the capability of the animal we’re working with. We have to get it right the first time because there may be only one chance to get the animal action the way it’s supposed to be.”

Pairing with Cheryl Miller

Paula and Jack in "Trail of the Cheetah"

Paula and Jack in “Trail of the Cheetah”

Yale Summers and Cheryl Miller seemed a perfect pair as Jack Dane and Paula Tracy in Daktari with the potential for on-screen romance being suggested when they nearly kissed in “Trail of the Cheetah”. The pair did eventually share an innocent kiss in “Little Miss Nightingale”.

However, it was not to be! Jack Dane returned to the USA at the end of the Third Season while Cheryl’s character stayed behind in Africa.

The romance also didn’t happen behind the scenes as Summers actually married his wife, Suzie, in October 1967 while Daktari was in production. Cheryl would marry her first husband, Stanley, in December 1968 soon after Daktari finished filming.

Serving as a union activist

Perhaps the attitudes he has so honestly described towards producers and actors were the genesis for Yale Summers becoming heavily involved in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and taking on activist roles in the acting community.

http://www.sagaftra.org/press-releases/may-07-2012/sag-aftra-remembers-yale-summers-longtime-sag-board-member-and-past-offic

Summers joined SAG in 1961 coinciding with his screen acting debut.

Yale Summers at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006

Yale Summers at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006

Summers later became chair of the SAG Awards Committee and was one of the producers of the SAG Awards ceremonies from 1995 until its 15th anniversary in 2009.

He served on SAG’s national committee for many years, including as recording secretary and treasurer. Summers was also a SAG Producers Pension and Health Plans trustee.

In addition, Summers was on both the Los Angeles local board and national board of directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Quite a list of achievements for a person who (in his own words) “never wanted to be an actor”!

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Daktari Stars: The Next Generation – Meet Cheryl Miller’s son, magician and conceptual artist

I am pleased to present this article about Cheryl Miller and her son Erik Seidenglanz by our Australian friend Ken Lynch (he wrote the Episode Guides for this site). He has a vast knowledge of Daktari (as many of you do, far more than me!) that he is happy to share with our readers. That’s what this site is about. If you have something you would like to contribute, write to me at daktaritvshow@gmail.com and let’s talk!

The Proud Mother

While this website is devoted to Daktari and its stars, it is interesting to note that their legacy is being continued by their children.

Cheryl Miller in her 60's as beautiful as ever.

Cheryl Miller in her 60’s as beautiful as ever.

This article focuses on one of our favourite Daktari stars Cheryl Miller and her son Erik Seidenglanz (she also has two other step-children).

http://daktaritvshow.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/cheryl-miller-today/

Cheryl gave birth to Erik on 7 October 1980 (over 10 years after her time on Daktari) and she has obviously been a proud and devoted Mum since that time.

Erik’s Passion for Magic

From an early age, Erik had an exceptional passion for magic. At 12, he was one of the youngest people accepted into Hollywood’s Magic Castle junior program.

Erik’s magic talent was recognized when he performed at a White House luncheon attended by Vice President Al Gore in 1993.

Erik Seidenglanz was accepted into the Magic Castle's junior program at age 12 from douglasleferovich.com

Erik Seidenglanz was accepted into the Magic Castle’s junior program at age 12
from douglasleferovich.com

Around that time, he did magic shows for his friends and neighbours on a street corner. Cheryl was a proud Mum and even “went up with him and parked myself across the street on the bus stop bench watching, the protective mother.” She also said his passion for magic had increased his attention for detail in school, but she admitted it also distracted at times.

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-01-17/news/ls-21096_1_corona-del-mar

Cheryl was still driving him from performance to performance in the 1990s, but usually stayed out of sight when he worked a room. “This is the time to go from boy to man without Mommy around,” Cheryl said. “Every kid wants to be good at something, find their niche. This is his niche.”

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-08-16/local/me-24414_1_corona-del-mar

Erik as a Conceptual Artist

As time moved on and Erik grew older, his passions expanded. He is now better known as a conceptual artist with a particular emphasis on photography and music.

Despite his own success, Erik does not shy away from acknowledging his family connection with Cheryl in his work.

A particular example is the inclusion of these photographs of Cheryl in an exhibition he did on old time Americana’s school girl images.

cheryl miller's son erik seidenglanz

http://www.shift.jp.org/en/archives/2002/06/britney_spears_show.html

The link between Erik’s interest in music and his family is evidenced by the fact that Cheryl’s house was reportedly used for 28 days in 2010 to record (as yet unreleased) music tracks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Duncan_(musician)

The most interesting link with Cheryl can be viewed in a recent video recording of Erik working on a musical piece where a picture of Cheryl can be clearly seen on the wall behind him.

We wish him continued success in all of his chosen fields of interest!

Other Daktari stars’ children?

Researching this article has prompted thoughts about the achievements of other children of the Daktari stars.

Biographical information on the late Marshall Thompson indicates that he had a daughter Janet (who now compiles the very well presented official Marshall Thompson website http://www.marshall-thompson.com/ ). The late Yale Summers was survived by two children, son Jordan and daughter Jolie. There is no record of either the late Hari Rhodes or Hedley Mattingly having had any children.

If any of our readers have any information about this Next Generation of the Daktari stars, it would be nice to hear from you!

Click to Tweet & ShareDaktari Stars: Meet Cheryl Miller’s son, magician and conceptual artist http://wp.me/p3hKG3-kg
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Happy Birthday Cheryl Miller! Feb. 4, 1943

Thanks to Walter for these awesome pictures from Season Two’s episode, “Undercover Judy.”

We all wish Cheryl a happy birthday with many more to come!

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com cheryl miller as paula tracy

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com paula and judy with cake

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com paula mike jack marsh and judySnapshot from episode  undercover Judy

Click to Tweet & Share: Happy Birthday Cheryl Miller! Feb. 4, 1943 http://wp.me/p3hKG3-k8
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