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Janos Prohaska (October 10, 1919, Budapest, Hungary – March 13, 1974, Inyo County, California, United States) was a U.S.-based Hungarian actor and stunt performer on American television from the 1960s. He usually played the roles of animals or monsters.
He is best remembered for his recurring comic role as The Cookie Bear in the The Andy Williams Show from 1969 to 1971. Prohaska also appeared in multiple roles on such TV series as The Outer Limits, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Lost in Space, and a few episodes of Gilligan's Island, where he plays a gorilla. His only credited role on that series appears in the episode “Our Vines Have Tender Apes." In 1967 he appeared as a white gorilla in the "Fatal Cargo" episode of the ABC-TV sci-fi series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. On NBC-TV's Star Trek his turns as the Horta in Star Trek's "The Devil in the Dark", and the Mugato in "A Private Little War" are the best known of these. He made an appearance as himself on an episode of What's My Line? in 1969, where he wore a monkey costume that he created.
He and his son Robert were killed along with 34 others on March 13, 1974 at 8:28 p.m. in the crash of a chartered Sierra Airlines Convair CV-440 aircraft near Bishop, California while filming the ABC/Wolper Productions television series Primal Man. The plane flew into a mountain ridge in darkness, but the exact cause of the crash was never determined.
During the late 1980s revamp of the DC Comics character Blackhawk by Howard Chaykin, the leader of the eponymous group of World War II fighters was revealed to be named Janos Prohaska, in tribute to the actor.
- "The 'Primal Man' Crash". Check-Six.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
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