The following biography was taken from Classic Television Memories: African-Americans in 1960’s Television – Hari Rhodes (Daktari):
He graduated from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor Of Arts Degree. At age 15, he forged his mother’s signature to enlist in the Marines. He served in Korea.
In 1957, he appeared in an episode of Zane Grey Theater which included Sammy Davis, Jr. Throughout the decade of the 60’s, he could be found in numerous television shows such as Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, he was featured in an Outer Limits episode called “Moonstone”, (1964). other roles included Rawhide, Wagon Train and The Fugitive.
In 1966 he starred in Daktari, (1966-1969) which was broadcast on CBS. Rhodes played Mike Makula, one of the assistants of Dr. (Daktari) Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson), and his daughter Paula (Cheryl Miller), at the Wamaru veterinary hospital in Africa. The series also featured Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion and Judy, the Chimp.
After Daktari ended, Rhodes continued acting in movies and on television throughout the 70’s and 80;s. He could be seen in the blaxploitation film Detoit 9000 (1973), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and most notably as Brima Cesay in the 1977 mini-series, Roots.
Mr. Rhodes passed away in 1992 of a heart attack at age 59, in Canoga Park, California.
Rhodes brought an elegance to Daktari as Mike Makula. Handsome with a deep, melodic speaking voice, he was a favorite with fans. Daktari was one of a group of pioneering shows including Julia starring Diahann Carroll and Star Trek with Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura that featured African American actors in key roles.
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