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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).

https://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!

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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

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Tons of photos of Daktari cast, shared by a generous fan

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you through email correspondence and through your generosity, I have far exceeded my original collection of pictures. You people really challenge me with your knowledge of the show! It’s what makes this blog possible.

The main purpose of this blog (besides celebrating a wonderful TV show) is to provide photos for other collectors like me. One of our readers, Ken (all the way from Australia – he is the one who wrote the Episode Guides for this site) shared his extensive collection with me and I’d like to share my favorites with you.

Let the downloads begin!

How big is your collection? Who did you collect?

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Rare article on Cheryl Miller with first husband Stanley Shapiro; 1969 article on Ivan Tors

Good friend Walter shared this German article about Cheryl Miller from 1969 that he acquired from Ebay. It shows Cheryl with a short haircut, something apparently she had wanted for quite some time. She looks adorable:

german article cheryl miller and stanley shapiro

Walter was kind enough to provide a summary of the article:

  • The headline reads, “Paula’s lion is now Stanley”
  • In the article Cheryl talks about the ending of Daktari and how she is now spending time with her husband. She misses the animals of Daktari and is very sad that Clarence had died. Judy always stole candy bars from Cheryl’s dressing room but she misses the chimp and wants to visit Judy some time.
  • She plans on going with her husband on safari in Africa and will shoot the animals only with her camera.
The text under the pictures reads as follows :
  • Cheryl is a excellent cook,  spaghetti invitations for 10 people she is good at
  • Cheryl loves flowers, but her scotch terrier dog Artemis had ruined the flowers
  • Cheryl with short hair, she waited three years in Daktari to got rid of her long hair.
Walter also sent this great acquisition from Ebay:
640 Ebay magazine 1969_1 Ivan Tors Daktari640 Ebay magazine 1969_2 Ivan Tors Daktari
Many thanks to Walter for sharing this. You readers make this site!

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Daktari Season Four Episode Guide

The following episode guide for Season Four was contributed by Ken Lynch who hails from Australia. Photos are by Patrick Sansano. Patrick is from France and has an excellent and entertaining Episode Guide of his own which I encourage you to visit. If you don’t speak French, use Google Translate to read his commentary.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Fourth Season

Note: photo slide show of Season Four at the bottom on this post.

cheryl miller daktari season four - CopyA half season of 15 episodes was screened between September 1968 and January 1969 six months after the conclusion of the 27 episode Season Three in March 1968.

However, the decline of the series was perhaps foreshadowed by a switch in time slot from a Tuesday to a Wednesday night in the US.

One of the core cast, Yale Summers, left the series after three seasons and Cheryl Miller was starting to become too old to play the ‘young innocent’ any more. In fact, a new shot of the older, longer-haired Miller is featured in the last season’s introductory titles.

ross hagen erin moran daktari season fourTwo new cast members were drafted – Jenny Jones (played by 7-year old Erin Moran) and Bart Jason, a camera-safari guide who was once a ranger. The first episode introduces them and sets them up for their stay for the rest of the series. Unfortunately, this new focus produced several overly saccharin episodes.

A few of the same production crew remained for this third season, notably writer Malvin Wald (5) while Marshall Thompson increased his behind-the-scenes involvement by writing one episode.

Regular Paul Landres returned to direct 4 episodes with Dick Moder (3). A new director Alan Crosland directed 3 while Marshall Thompson directed yet one more.

Fourth Season Episodes (First aired on Wednesdays on CBS)

4.1 (75) A Family for Jenny (First aired 25 Sept 1968)

When some orphans come for a visit to Wameru, Jenny Jones hides out with Judy, so that she will not have to return to the orphanage in Nogoro. Broken-hearted that Tracy will not adopt her, she agrees to return to the city with him. While driving to Nogoro, Hedley intercepts them and warns the two of a killer lioness on the loose. He informs them that the government has sent in a professional hunter, Bart Jason, to bring her down. It is Tracy who discovers that the lioness has a cub, perhaps the reason for her vicious tendencies, and he and Jenny set out to save her. Jenny is fearful that the cub will be made an orphan like herself, and as Jason and Tracy follow their prey, she follows the cub.

marshall thompson erin moran daktai season fourNotes: Co-written by Malvin Wald. Joan Anderson guest stars and would return in Episodes 4.6 and 4.8. Jack’s absence is explained early in the episode as being “back in the states on a research fellowship”. Marsh’s ultimate decision to adopt Jenny becomes clear when he refers to her as “Paula” on their trip into the bush. Cheryl Miller changes her look (mini skirt, boots) and is now more credible as the big sister (the actress was born in 1943 while Erin Moran was born in 1960!).

4.2 (76) Clarence the Lionhearted (First aired 2 Oct 1968)

Survival is the lesson that Clarence and a native tribesman-turned poacher must learn when they are faced with existing in the bush as outcasts. While Dr. Tracy is testing Clarence’s lionhood and ability to protect his own territory, the native who refuses to leave his land after it is evacuated by the government, stalks his future prey – Clarence. The lions come to Wameru and attach the animals in the Compound.

Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Alan Crosland. Includes one of the longest introductory segments (9 minutes). Some scenes of Judy and the baby bear playing in the cage are repeated from the first season. This episode continues the trend of showing newly filmed multiple animals at outdoor Africa USA locations, although a scene of lions from Episode 1.18 is re-used.

4.3 (77) African Heritage (First aired 9 Oct 1968)

erin moran season four-4A famous child author, Jan Ferris, who longs to write adult best sellers like her father, comes to Africa looking for excitement, violence and adventure. Discovering that life at Wameru Compound is too tame for her, she attempts to provoke an incident by entering a cage housing a sick cheetah after earlier seeing Dr. Tracy and Mike inside removing her cub. However, the cat lunges at her, escapes and desperately searches for her baby who is sleeping with Jenny in her room. Not until they hear Jan scream do Daktari and his household awake and become aware of danger, but by then the crazed cheetah is poised for attack outside Jenny’s window.

Notes: Joe Higgins makes a brief third appearance at the start in a new role after having played Lansing in Episodes 1.17 and 2.13. Watch for a look at Cheryl Miller’s long hair in the night time scene.

4.4 (78) The Outsider (First aired 16 Oct 1968)

Dr. Tracy’s new neighbours are newlyweds Anne and Alfred Benton. A big game hunter, Benton loses his hunting cheetah and comes to Daktari for help. Unknown to Benton, Mrs. Benton has secretly released the cat. Now, concerned for its life, she steals away to hunt for her husband’s pet on her own. While searching in the bush, she comes face to face with a wild killer cheetah.

Notes: Directed by Dick Moder. This is a fairly routine episode. Paula seems to have taken over the role of researcher from Jack (also note her wearing the same top as in the previous episode). Mike does not appear in this episode.

4.5 (79) Strike Like a Lion (First aired 23 Oct 1968)

ross hagen hari rhodes daktari season fourA young and wealthy idealist from the States, Andy Brewster, disillusioned by man’s lack of concern for his fellow man, comes to Africa and enlists in a small country’s rebel army. His first assignment is to come to Wameru and get Bart Jason, well known all over the continent for his skill with weapons and knowledge of jungle warfare, to join the cause.

Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Alan Crosland. Scenes of lions from Episode 4.2 are re-used here. Lawrence Templar makes an impressive guest star in a story that makes a political statement. Jenny does not appear in this episode.

4.6 (80) Adam and Jenny (First aired 30 Oct 1968

The paths of a wild jungle dog and a runaway orphan named Adam cross with a lonely native couple living in an isolated bush area. The result involves Daktari, Paula, Mike, Hedley, Miss Pearce – and especially Jenny and Judy – conspiring to help Adam until he can find a real home of his own. While the two littIe schemers attempt to coax the husband and wife into adopting Adam, the boy finds himself alone in the bush – face to face with the vicious dog.

Notes: Co-written by Malvin Wald and directed by Paul Landres. A young Louis Gossett guest stars as an old man. Joan Anderson returns for the second time as June Pearce after being in Episode 4.1 and would return again in Episode 4.8.

4.7 (81) A Man’s Man (First aired 6 Nov 1968)

When a father and son, estranged by the death of his mother, are reunited at Wameru Compound, the tension rises. The father, Chet Rainey, a famous wild game hunter and oil tycoon, fears that his wife’s sensitivity may have had too great an influence on the boy. He sets out to make his kind of man out of his son, Ted. Bart agrees to take Chet and Ted on a camera safari. In the mountainous terrain, Ted at first seems to lack the stamina for the hunt, but when the party becomes separated, a stalking leopard tests not Ted’s, but Chet’s manhood.

Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Once again, Cheryl Miller rarely appears in this episode. It is actually the first episode in which Ross Hagen has the largest part in the episode and it also displays the obvious problem with the fourth season – the omnipresence of Erin Moran. The ‘leopard rocks’ from past episodes (particularly from the first season) are featured.

4.8 (82) The Runaways (First aired 13 Nov 1968)

erin moran judy the chimp daktari season four-2When Jenny overhears Dr. Tracy and the orphanage worker, Miss Pearce, discussing the children’s show for the home in which Toto is to star, Jenny mistakenly thinks that she is being returned to the orphanage for good. Scared and hurt, she takes Judy and a small lion cub who has been temporarily separated from her sickly mother, and they head for the bush. But the mother lioness soon discovers her cub missing, breaks out of her cage, and in a rage follows her baby’s scent to Jenny’s treehouse hideaway where the helpless group is hiding unaware of their danger.

Notes: Directed by Alan Crosland and co-written by Doris Dowling who had actually previously appeared as an actress in Episodes 1.12, 2.10 and 3.11. Joan Anderson guest stars again after having been in Episodes 4.1 and 4.6. Her character was obviously designed to be a love interest for Marsh. Sid Melton has one quick scene too. Jenny’s bedroom is the one previously used by Paula who now has another one.

4.9 (83) African Showdown (First aired 20 Nov 1968)

When a backslapping American rancher, Joe Wonder, buys the homestead next to Wameru Compound, Daktari and his staff become suspicious of his motives after he uses guns. It soon becomes apparent that he intends to fence off his part of the bush for controlled game hunting, and charge hunters high fees for killing the stray animals from the reserve. After overhearing Daktari say that he can find no legal way to stop Big Joe, Jenny and her animal friends sneak over to his ranch at night and begin to cut down all his barbed wire fences – unaware that Wonder is on guard.

Notes: Directed by Dick Moder. Alan Hale Jr guest stars. Watch for when Paula shows some affection on Bart’s return from safari! Paula says Judy is five years old which doesn’t seem right when she was originally in Clarence and Flipper some 5-6 years earlier. Another odd occurrence is Mike flying a plane for the first time in over 80 episodes!

4.10 (84) Once Upon a Fang (First aired 27 Nov 1968)

cheryl miller season four daktariWhen a teenage storyteller, Usumbu, is banished from his village, he runs into danger – a leopard who attacks him. Dr. Tracy, out observing herd movements, rescues Usumbu and takes him to Wameru. While Usumbu is recovering, Dr. Tracy, Paula, Mike and Jenny discover that it is more than the leopard clawing that is hurting Usumbu. After enchanting Jenny with his stories and puppets, he tells them that he was banished because he felt that being a warrior was more important than preserving the heritage of the tribe – his inherited craft. He runs away to again face the leopards in the bush just as Dr. Tracy finds a way for him to both prove his dignity as a man and his talent as a storyteller.

Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Ten episodes into the final season, there are several welcome references to Jack Dane, including the suggestion to ring him in the States. Bart is on safari and does not appear.

4.11 (85) The Divining Rods (First aired 11 Dec 1968)

An all-out fight for water breaks out between Dr. Tracy and aging Charlie Rone, chief engineer for a native resettlement project, when he errs in calculating the watershed, making Wameru Compound and the surrounding game reserve a virtual desert. Bart, who has known Rone for years, soon learns that he is insecure about his job since a young and very well-educated assistant, Tom Otis, joined him. Stubborn in his refusal to admit his mistake, he forces Tracy to go to Nogoro where the violation of Wameru’s water rights will be exposed. While Tracy is gone, Rone comes to the reserve and urges Bart to help find ground water for Wameru so that he can meet his project deadline and save the animals too. When the scientific instruments for water discovery fail to yield results, Bart turns to the natural talents of Wameru Center. He and Rone take two pet elephants out in the bush to use their sensitive trunks as divining rods in a race with time to tap water before the reserve animals die of thirst.

Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Bruce Bennett (a former Tarzan) had guest starred in a role in Episodes 3.1 and 3.18, but here he plays a different one.

4.12 (86) Discovery (First aired 18 Dec 1968)

cheryl miller marshall thompson season four daktari-3Judy’s life is endangered when momentary greed overcomes a husband and wife team distinguished for their motion picture documentaries on African wildlife. Judy stumbles onto a cave filled with rare and ancient artefacts, and when the photographers see her discovery, they devise a “get rich quick” plan which includes a well·publicised expedition to the cave. As they make their escape, a landslide seals Judy inside, but the two decide that her silence will increase the fame which they have spent a lifetime seeking.

Notes: Directed by John Florea who again does some fancy shots. Listen for Judy doing a Tarzan call. Bart does not appear.

4.13 (87) Jungle Heartbeat (First aired 1 Jan 1969)

Confrontation with an angry medicine man and the dangers of black magic begin to complicate Daktari’s work with the chief’s son who is dangerously ill. Crucial in the search to hopefully cure the sick boy are some seemingly unimportant questions asked by Jenny – why the caged tiger paces back and forth and why the captive elephant sways in the same rhythm?

Notes: Written by Richard Carlson and directed by John Florea. The elephant’s name is Lydia, the name of the elephant from the first season. Listen for when Marsh refers to the music man as “Shelly Manne”, the writer of the Daktari theme music.

4.14 (88) A Tiger’s Tale (First aired 8 Jan 1969)

marshall thompson hari rhodes daktari season fourWhen a Bengal tiger (Serina), formerly a pet of Dr. Tracy’s, shows up at Wameru Compound after three years, Mike and Marsh attempt to discover the mysterious reasons for her return. She becomes vicious in her cage so Marsh lets her go, tracking her into the dense bush country. It appears that he is being led into a trap when the tiger brings him to her sick cub – and a full-grown lion poised for attack.

Notes: Co-written by Marshall Thompson and directed by Dick Moder who shows an interesting new shot from inside the house looking out onto the verandah. Another nod to early Daktari history is the reference to Doris, an older chimp, who was a ‘friend’ of Judy – Doris was the name of the chimp played by Judy in the Clarence movie. Paula does not appear.

4.15 (89) Judy Come Home (First aired 15 Jan 1969)

An all-out search of the dense bush country surrounding Wameru is called after Judy and Clarence disappear. When four days have passed and there is still no trace of them, Jenny starts to worry. Fearing that they have been killed, she refuses to do anything but stand vigil. In an attempt to cheer her up, Marsh gets out Judy’s box containing souvenirs of past escapades. Using these as props, he begins to tell “Judy and Clarence’s Tales” while waiting to hear word of their rescue.

Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Dick Moder. The review of past episodes provides a fitting conclusion to the series.

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