Our favourite childhood animal TV stars

Our favourite childhood animal TV stars

From Flipper to Mister Ed, these animal TV stars really lit up the box whenever we watched them as children. Who was your favourite?

Mister Ed

A talented horse who could talk to his friend Wilbur, played by Alan Young. It was a horse named Bamboo Harvester who took the role of Mister Ed, and learned to move his lips on cue whenever his trainer touched his hoof. But after a while Bamboo would apparently know to do it as soon as Alan finished talking!


The bottlenose dolphin and companion of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at Coral Key Park, was full of tricks. Mainly played by five different female dolphins, they all did their own stunts, apart from the famous tail walk, when a male dolphin called Clown stepped in to do this scene.

Skippy the bush kangaroo

The first international TV star from Australia, Skippy attracted 300 millions viewers. He used to change colour, size and shape because he was played by up to 15 different kangaroos. He served tea and played the piano, but it was actually a man off-camera holding two fur-covered sticks!

Clarence the cross-eyed lion

Originally a 1965 film, it later spawned the TV series Daktari. Clarence really was cross-eyed and sometimes used an understudy, Leo, to do some of his stunts. Leo even had his own make-up artist to apply cosmetic scarring like Clarence's.

Gentle Ben

This was the Sixties TV series that told the story of the friendship between a large male bear, Ben, and a boy named Mark. Although four bears were used to play Ben, it was Bruno the bear who was the favourite because of his facial expressions and ability to work with children. Bruno reportedly lived with head trainer Monty Cox, where he sometimes followed him into the shower and even slept in his bed!


Between 1966 and 1975, when the TV adverts rolled, we couldn't wait to see the adorable Arthur, a white cat, calmly scooping Kattomeat out of a tin with his paw. Arthur starred in more than 300 TV commercials for the cat food brand.


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