The 1960s TV show Flipper was a smash hit, with its lovable bottlenose dolphin star playing the eponymous lead. But few could have imagined the fate which awaited Kathy, the mammal which played the character, when the cameras stopped rolling.
NBC first aired Flipper in September 1964, and its debut saw the mammal become a household name. Even today, it’s a famous pop culture reference. And thanks to the dolphin’s incredible performance, it became a resounding commercial success.
In fact, for its first two series, Flipper competed with big names at the time such as The Jackie Gleason Show. Its main attraction, the famous dolphin, lived with the Ricks family at the fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve.