The Manimal TV show was a 60 minute fantasy / crime-fighting series on NBC about a man who could change himself into any animal. He used that power to capture criminals who had otherwise managed to elude capture by the New York City Police Department. He was often assisted by a lady Police Detective who had discovered his secret power and by an old war buddy from his time in Vietnam.
Manimal CastSimon MacCorkindale ............ Professor Jonathan Chase
Melody Anderson ................ Detective Brooke Mackenzie
Michael D. Roberts ............. Tyrone "Ty" C. Earl
Reni Santoni ................... Lieutenant Nick Rivera
William Conrad ................. Narrator
Manimal TV Show Opening NarrativeDoctor Jonathan Chase is a wealthy, young, and handsome man with the brightest of futures with a very dark past. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarest peaks of Tibet, heir to his father's legacy, and the world's darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man, Manimal.
When he wasn't busy mimicing some animal while chasing criminals, Jonathan Chase was a wealthy British professor of Behavioural Science at New York University.
You might remember Michael D. Roberts better as the character, "Rooster" on the "Baretta TV show.
The introduction to each Manimal episode featured Jonathan Chase as a young man with his father who was played by actor, "Don Knight". Don played the role of "Fletcher" on the series, "The Immortal" and also appeared in the pilot episode of "The Time Tunnel". In addiion to appearing on nearly 100 episodes of television shows, Don was also a practicing Methodist Minister! He was obviously a great actor as he was best known for his roles as a "cold killer"!
Melody Anderson left show business in the mid 1990s. She then used her Master's Degree in social work to get a job as a substance abuse counselor. She still keeps in touch with her Manimal days though. As recently as April of 2008, she appeared at the New York Comic Con where she sold autographs and photos to her fans.
Manimal was far from the only show business job for William Conrad. In addition to narrating Manimal, he also did "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", "Tales of the Unexpected", "How the West Was Won miniseries", "The Fugitive (1963)", and "The Rocky and Bullwinkle show", to name a few. Mr. Conrad was also a very successful actor! He held the starring role on the Gunsmoke Radio Show which had aired 3 1/2 years before anyone met James Arness on the "Gunsmoke TV show. William Conrad also starred on the TV series "Cannon", "Nero Wolfe (1981)", and "Jake and the Fatman". In addition to numerous other voice and acting roles on TV and in movies, he also produced and directed many times. He even composed a couple of songs for the 1981 TV movie, "Side Show".
Usually, a character will appear on a TV series and then will show up with their own series. In the case of Jonathan Chase, just the opposite happened. Sixteen years after Manimal ended, Simon MacCorkindale returned to TV as Manimal on the series, "NightMan". It was on the episode titled (amazingly), "Manimal" that aired on November 15, 1998!
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
Manimal - The First and Only Season
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