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Blast from the Past: Daktari

June 23, 2011

Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion

On the series, Clarence didn’t do all his own stunts, he also had a stand in. Leo, another Ralph Helfer-trainer feline, doubled for Clarence whenever there were any trucks involved, since Clarence spooked at the sight of these vehicles. Leo even had his own makeup artist who applied cosmetic scarring like Clarence’s, so that he would resemble Clarence when photographed in closeups. This was referred to in an inside joke from the preview trailer for the movie Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, that Leo (who also appeared in the MGM logo and had a gentle temperament very similar to Clarence’s) was not at all related to Clarence!

Another less-friendly lion, also named Leo, doubled for Clarence in some scenes. He was used only for the snarling scenes and general scenes which didn’t involve close proximity with humans. Leo had come from a family in Utah. His ferocity was due largely to abuse he received from former owners that beat him badly with a stick. [sourced from Wikipedia]

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