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Cast and Crew

Daktari was created by Ivan Tors, well known for his hit series Flipper, Sea Hunt, and Gentle Ben. Daktari was the television spinoff of  Tors’ successful 1965 film with MGM, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion.

combined cast1

Daktari, Swahili for “doctor,” revolves around the work of veterinarian Dr. Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson) ably assisted by his daughter, Paula (Cheryl Miller) and assistants Jack Dane (Yale Summers) and Mike Makula (Hari Rhodes).  The setting is the African bush and the fictional Wameru Study Center for Animal  Behavior where Dr. Tracy and staff advocate the protection of animals from disease and the ever encroaching poachers. The District Officer and law enforcer Hedley was played by Hedley Mattingly. Using a method known as “affection training,” the staff at Wameru succeeds in taming several wild animals, most notably Judy the Chimp and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion, both of whom often stole the show.

The show was actually filmed in part at a 600-acre resort known as Africa, U.S.A. run by Ralph and Toni Helfer. The Helfers supplied the animals for Daktari and advocated the “affection training” concept used in the show.

combined cast2

Geared for children and featured from 7:30-8:30 every Tuesday night on CBS, Daktari featured simple stories of adventure, some danger and plenty of humorous antics from its animal stars. It ran successfully from 1966 (where it became a mid-season surprise hit) until 1969. In its heyday, Daktari was a top ten ratings hit. Its final year saw the departure of Yale Summers and the the addition of Ross Hagen as Bart Jason and a young Erin Moran as orphan Jenny Jones, adopted by Dr. Tracy.


Creators: Art Arthur, Ivan Tors
Series Produced by:
Ivan Tors, executive producer (43 episodes, 1966-1968)
Leonard B. Kaufman, producer (42 episodes, 1966-1968)
Harry Redmond Jr., associate producer
Series Original Music by Henry Vars, Shelly Manne
Animal Supervisor: Ralph Helfer

from IMDb.com – see website for complete listing

Cast Members

marshall thompson 90Marshall Thompson as Dr. Marsh Tracy
Biographical information and photos

Cheryl Miller as Paula Tracycheryl miller
Biographical information and photos

yale-summers 90Yale Summers as Jack Dane
Biographical information and photos

Hari Rhodes as Mike Makulahari rhodes 90
Biographical information and photos

hedley mattingly 90Hedley Mattingly as District Officer Hedley
Biographical information and photos

Ross Hagen as Bart Jasonross hagen 90
Biographical information and photos

erin moran 90Erin Moran as Jenny Jones
Biographical information and photos

Opening Credits

Cast Photos

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