The Last Flipper
May 1, 1997 - The last of seven dolphins who starred in the hit TV series Flipper died on this day. Her name was Bebe and she was 40 years old.
She was born in the main pool of the Miami Seaquarium in 1956. Bebe's arrival was a media sensation and pictures of her birth were featured in the December 1956 issue of Life magazine. It was the beginning of a long career in entertainment.
Bebe performed in the Seaquarium's dolphin show across 5 decades. She dazzled park visitors with a 23-foot jump that served as the show's finale. Her greatest fame came as one of the stars of Flipper, a show that originally aired from 1963 through 1967. Over the course of 88 episodes, Bebe would help defeat bad guys in a Florida nature preserve. The show is often credited with raising awareness about threatened marine ecosystems.
Flipper trivia: Did you know the voice of Flipper was actually an altered recording of a Kookaburra bird?