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

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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!

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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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Daktari Season One available for free online viewing! (for a limited time)

Very cool! If you sign up for a free trial on the Warner Brothers site you can watch Daktari Season One online! Plus the other videos that Warner Brothers offers. Great way to catch up on favorite old TV shows that you can’t see anymore.

I wonder if a smart TV can pick this up? Anybody know?

Here’s the site: http://instant.warnerarchive.com/episodicproduct.html?productId=128979&ref=WACFBDAKPG&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Post&utm_campaign=WACFBDAKPG

Here’s where you can purchase the DVD:

daktaritvshow.wordpress.com Daktari The Complete First SeasonDaktari The Complete First Season

Available for $44.95 on the
Warners Archive site

Also available through Amazon, Walmart and Staples for slightly lower prices.

Here’s a review of Season One.

Preview Clip from Warners Archive





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Cheryl Miller loved cats and so do I – here’s how we can all show our love

courtesy of Walter

courtesy of Walter

How could love Daktari and not love cats?

I am thisclose to being a crazy cat lady. :-) We all know how much Cheryl Miller loved her cats, both big and small.

That being said, I wanted to share with you a book I recently self-published known as The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One on sale now for $19.95 to raise funds for an extraordinary no-kill cat shelter known as Purrfect Pals. Before encountering Purrfect Pals I would have thought that supporting a cat shelter was a frivolous thing; shouldn’t my efforts go towards helping humans instead?

It turns out Purrfect Pals does help humans, and here’s how.

cover croppedTwo years ago I “met” John Bartlett online. He is a volunteer for Purrfect Pals having fostered 43 litters of kittens. Nearly 200 kittens and mother cats have found permanent homes as a result of his efforts.

A friend alerted me to the live kitten cam John had on Livestream and after my first visit, I was hooked. Over the span of several weeks I could watch newborn babies grow to healthy and beautiful kittens ready to take on the world.

It was fun watching them grow from squirmy little sausages with pencil point tales to the fur balls of fun. Imagine watching little kittens working their tiny paws back and forth in rapid succession as they nursed from their mother … envision little spitfires “zooming” around the room, leaping, tumbling and snuggling … I couldn’t stop watching.

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Offering joy and comfort

I enjoy watching the kitten cam for a good laugh or just to get away for a spell from all the bad news in the world. At first the draw was the kittens but soon it became the community—thousands of people from around the world tuning in to watch kittens, chat together, share their life stories and offer comfort to other members who needed it. Along with the comical remarks about the kittens (kitten lovers have a great sense of humor) were stories of chronic illness, unemployment and other matters that isolate people from their world. Some community members are homebound and the live kitten cam community became a lifeline for them, filling their days with smiles and love.

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Why The Critter Room Memory Book?

Tears are shed on adoption day as the kittens go off to their new homes. We’re all thrilled and yet we miss them. That’s when I came up with the idea of The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One, a scrapbook full of pictures of kittens along with fan fiction, art and commentary on how the Critter Room community is a microcosm for how the world could work when we could but adopt a common cause.

Prison outreach

prison-programFoster Dad John helps kittens find homes and his cam gives joy to people in need. But there’s more. Purrfect Pals has a prison outreach program called Prison-Foster where inmates are given semi-feral kittens to socialize and to love so that they can then be adopted. That’s when I knew I wanted to support this wonderful organization.

In support of Purrfect Pals

If you would like to support Purrfect Pals in their work, you can purchase The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One, and all royalties go to Purrfect Pals. For every $19.95 you spend, Purrfect Pals makes $10.35. Makes a great gift!

How to double your donation

critter room memory book box art2Another great way to help is to “double” your donation by purchasing books for Purrfect Pals to sell during their adoption events. Their address is 230 McRae Rd NE, Arlington, WA 98223 in care of Executive Director Connie Gabelein.

You can find out more about Foster Dad John and The Critter Room by visiting the Facebook page.

Thanks for your support!


courtesy of Walter



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