Rare photos of Marshall Thompson from a sci-fi thriller

I received a delightful email from Michael, a Daktari fan in England who has a connection with Marshall Thompson. He writes,

“Hello from London England

As 60’s child I was (like millions of others) a huge fan of Daktari… what I didn’t know then but discovered recently whilst researching my grandfather’s biography was that he starred alongside Marshall Thompson in the Sci-Fi thriller “First Man Into Space” – Carl Heinz Jaffé was Dr. Paul Von Essen.

Here is a rare film PR still from my private collection:

(it looks similar to others widely available; many of which I have too; but THIS one you won’t find; notice please the authentic studio picture code in the bottom RH corner). The chap in the white lab coat is Jaffé/Von Essen…”
first man into space-1
And here is a second still from Michael:
First Man Into Space PR 1959My thanks to Michael for providing these stills.

Who among you has seen this film?
Tell us about it!

You, the fans, keep this blog (and Daktari) alive and well!

Another great find on eBay – Cheryl Miller, Deb Star 1966

eBay is definitely the place to go for Daktari memorabilia. Something new shows up each week. Here is something Walter found:

Cheryl Miller Hollywood Deb Star Ball (1966)

Click here if you want to find out more about this item.



Happy Birthday, Cheryl Miller!

Born February 4, 1943. Check out Wikipedia which has links to a couple of articles about her son Eric at 14 when he was an emerging magician.

In the meantime, check out these lovely photos from the Golden Globes (Getty Images):


Cheryl Miller’s wedding day album circa 1969

In 1969, Cheryl Miller married Stan Shapiro, a stock broker. One of our faithful readers, Walter, found this wonderful set of photos from the wedding on eBay:

wedding to stan shapiro

wedding to stan shapiro closeup1

wedding to stan shapiro closeup3

wedding to stan shapiro closeup2

wedding to stan shapiro closeup4

This item is still for sale on eBay if you want to add it to your collection.

Thanks Walter for a great find!


Check out these fabulous vintage Daktari cast photos now available on Ebay

You can find these photos on Ebay. These are really nice!

Click on the first photo to click through a slide show and see these in their full size.


Here are two more that you can buy here: (Thanks, TT!)

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Just where was Africa U.S.A.?? Now we know …

Check out the comments section of this older post on Ralph Helfer for exact directions to the former Africa USA in Soledad Canyon in California!

00 animal-kingrom-usa-1-cropped


What ever happened to Judy the Chimp?

Our resident expert Ken Lynch provides some answers:

Judy’s television appearances

Judy appears to have featured in a lot of movies and TV shows prior to her part in Daktari.  In particular, she appeared in two movies The Monkey’s Uncle (alongside Cheryl Miller – and including playing the tambourine on stage with The Beach Boys in the opening scene!) and Fluffy, several Flipper episodes, the Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion film as well as the movie Birds Do It.  She also appeared in quite a few Lost In Space episodes while still filming Daktari.

Judy as Debbie on Lost in Space

Judy as Debbie on Lost in Space

Post Daktari

After Daktari, I am only aware of one TV show in which she appeared – Ivan Tors’ Jambo alongside former Daktari ‘co-star’ Marshall Thompson.  I found this link to a newspaper article from October 1969 that has quite a bit of information about this TV series (which eventually ran from 1969 to 1971) and mentions Judy several times.

This video from Jambo features a preview for next week’s episode and closing theme to the Saturday morning anthology series that ran from 1969 to 1971. The show was a companion series to the prime time series, Daktari. (from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHnNTNqxYcw)

Apparently, Judy also spent some post-Daktari time at an animal training school.

Ripe old age?

560 daktaritvshow.wordpress.com cheryl miller actress TV guide cover croppedI also found an anonymous entry on the internet that suggests that Judy may have still been alive as late as 1979 (“I also used to care for Judy the Chimp from Daktari when the place in Grand Prairie was called International Wildlife Park in 1979. She was a very good girl. I remember asking her to gather up her orange peels and she would do it without hesitation. She would then bring them to me and hand them through the fence. She mostly stayed inside, and was turning gray.”)

I think the only way to confirm some of this detail, including when and how Judy died, would be to suggest that an enquiry be made to Ralph Helfer via his Facebook page or direct email as he seems to be very responsive to talking about his former pets.  I’m sure he would be happy to provide some comment on Judy’s latter years.


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