Janos Prohaska

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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 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.[1] The plane flew into a mountain ridge in darkness, but the exact cause of the crash was never determined.[2]

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.


Year Title Role Notes
1962 Billy Rose's Jumbo Circus Performer #14
1963 The Outer Limits: The Architects of Fear Allen as Thetan Uncredited
1963 The Outer Limits: The Sixth Finger Darwin the Chimpanzee Uncredited
1964 Advance to the Rear Flagpole Sitter Uncredited
1964 Bikini Beach Clyde the Chimp
1965 The Outer Limits: The Probe The Mikie
1967 Man of Steel
1967 Star Trek: The Devil in The Dark Horta Uncredited
1968 Star Trek: A Private Little War The Mugato
1969 Star Trek: The Savage Curtain Yarnek Uncredited
1970 Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You Gorilla
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes Heloise Uncredited
1974 Zandy's Bride Bear Uncredited
1986 Star Trek: The Cage Anthropoid Ape / Humanoid Bird Uncredited, 1965 Pilot not released until 1986


  1. ^ "The 'Primal Man' Crash". Check-Six.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  2. ^ http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19740313-0

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