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Dolphins

Flipper the Dolphin - Dolphin featured on the maritime adventure FLIPPER/NBC/1964-67.

Bud, Sandy, Porter Ricks & Flipper

Flipper was first introduced in the Ivan Tors feature films Flipper (1963) and Flipper's New Adventure (1964). On the TV series spin-off, Flipper was the domesticated dolphin pet of Sandy (Luke Halpin) and Bud (Tommy Norden) the sons of Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly), the game warden at Coral Key Park, Florida (Marine Callsign: WD9598).

The concept for the movies/TV series was based on the book idea about a boy and his dolphin created by underwater expert Ricou Browning who starred in the horror film Creature of the Black Lagoon (1954) and radio station worker Jack Couder. Ivan Tors producer of the underwater series SEA HUNT/SYN/1957-61 adapted their story for film and television.

To obtain a dolphin to star in the Flipper series, Ricou Browning struck a deal with Milton Santini of the Florida Keys who was known to have successfully trained a dolphin named Mitzi.

Ricou's 9-year-old son began playing toss the ball with Mitzi and soon was riding on her back. Later, Santini started an attraction called "Flipper's Sea School" featuring dolphins used in the Flipper movies/series.

Mitzi played Flipper in the film Flipper (1963). Suzie the dolphin played in the sequel movie Flipper's New Adventure (1964), and in the TV series FLIPPER/NBC/1964-67.

The Miami Seaquarium, which called itself "The Home of Flipper" also supplied dolphins for the programs among them Cathy and Suzie who performed some 40 tricks.

Flipper (Mitzi) died of a heart attack on June 25, 1971 at Grassy Key, Florida. She was 22 years old. Bebe, the last of the seven Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that starred on the series died in 1997 at the Miami Seaquarium. She was 40. A year before her death she gave birth to Echo, her eighth calf.

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1995, a remake of the series entitled Flipper appeared in syndication and then moved to the PAX network during its third season. It starred the adventures of Brian Wimmer as Dr. Keith "Bud' Ricks, a dolphin researcher at Bal Harbor in Florida [and later the Monroe County Search and Rescue substation].

In 1996, a theatrical adaptation entitled Flipper starred Elijah Wood as a belligerent young city boy who was forced to spend the summer with his bohemian uncle Porter (Paul Hogan) where he meets up with a feisty dolphin named Flipper [who lost one of its parents to a heartless fisherman].


Flipper

Theme Song Lyrics- NBC "Flipper"

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
no-one you see, is smarter than he,
and we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
flying there-under, under the sea!

(end of TV show)

Everyone loves the king of the sea,
ever so kind and gentle is he,
tricks he will do when children appear,
and how they laugh when he's near!

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
no-one you see, is smarter than he,
and we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
flying there-under, under the sea!
 


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