The Mandrake Movie Serial

In 1939, Columbia released a 12 part serial based on Mandrake the Magician. Starring as Mandrake was Warren Hull. The storyline was about Mandrake's fight against the masked villain known as "The Wasp". He was the leader of an underworld organisation planning on stealing a top-secret radium-energy machine developed by professor Houston. Mandrake's romantic interest in the serial is professor Houston's daughter Betty. As many have pointed out to me, Lothar did appear in the series, but Narda didn't. When the serial was made, Narda was not yet Mandrake's girlfriend in the comic strip, which is why Betty Houston was Mandrake's love interest in the serial.

Episode Guide:
  • Shadow on the Wall
  • Trap of the Wasp
  • City of Terror
  • The Secret Passage
  • The Devil's Playmate
  • The Fatal Crash
  • Gamble for Life
  • Across the Deadline
  • Terror Rides the Rails
  • The Unseen Monster
  • At the Stroke of Eight
  • The Rewards of Treachery

Directed by
Sam Nelson and Norman Deming

Written by
Ned Dandy, Basil Dickey and Joseph F. Poland

Produced by
Jack Fier

Original music by
Sidney Cutner and Floyd Morgan
  • Warren Hull as Mandrake
  • Doris Weston as Betty Houston
  • Al Kikume as Lothar
  • Rex Downing as Tommy Houston
  • Edward Earle as Dr. Andre Bennett
  • Forbes Murray as Professor Houston
  • Kenneth MacDonald as James Webster
  • Don Beddoe as Frank Raymond
  • Dick Curtis as Dorgan, manufacturer
  • John Tyrrell as Dirk
  • George Chesebro as Baker, a thug
  • Ernie Adams as Brown, a thug
  • Charles Hamilton as Morton, a thug
  • Eddie Fetherston as Thug
  • Kit Guard as Thug
  • Cy Schindell as Thug
  • Harry Tenbrook as Thug
  • George Turner
  • Stanley Brown
  • Beatrice Curtis
  • Robert Sterling
  • Sam Ash
  • Lester Dorr
  • Eddie Foster
  • Eddie Laughton

  • To buy the Mandrake Movie Serial on video, visit:
    VCI Home Video

    The Mandrake Radio Serial

    The Mandrake Radio Serial aired over the Mutual radio network fom 11/11 1940 until 02/06 1942. Origianlly it was a three day a week serial, and from 1941 a five day a week serial. Raymond Edward Johnson starred as Mandrake and Juano Hernandez as Lothar.

    To hear or download the episode "The Revenge of the Cobra", visit:
    The Imagination co.

    To buy the Mandrake Radio Serial on tape, visit:
    Radio Memories

    Defenders of the Earth

    Defenders of the Earth (DOE for short) was an animated TV-series produced by Marvel Productions & King Features Syndicate, beginning in 1986. It featured KFS' most popular adventure heroes, namely Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Lothar, fighting against none other than Ming the Merciless. The series was set in the year 2015 and also featured new characters such as Flash Gordon's son Rick, the Phantom's daughter Jedda, and Lothar's son LJ (Lothar Junior). The series was relatively succesful and a total of 65 half-hour long episodes were made. Fans of the original comic strips usually find DOE to be completely worthless... but it is none the less of great interest fo fans of Lee Falk's work, since it teams up the Phantom (the 27th, that is) and his other creation Mandrake. Originally, Lothar was not part of the DOE concept, something Lee Falk insited on. After all, Mandrake and Lothar have always fought crime together. The series spawned a toy line and a short-lived comic book, most remembered for the fact that Marvel legend Stan Lee co-wrote the first issue, and that long time Mandrake and Phantom artist Fred Fredericks inked it. This was his first work with the Phantom. Only four issues were published, but a fifth unpublished story was reportedly made.

  • Flash Gordon - Lou Richards
  • Rick Gordon - Loren Lester
  • Mandrake the Magician - Peter Renaday
  • Lothar - Buster Jones
  • Jedda Walker - Sarah Partridge
  • Ming the Merciless - William Callaway
  • Prince Crotan - Hal Rayle
  • Voices - Adam Carl
  • Voices - Ron Feinberg
  • Voices - Diane Pershing
  • Voices - Peter Mark Richman
  • Voices - Dion Williams

    I've heard that noone was officially given credit for the voice of the Phantom... does anyone know if this is true? Please contact me!

  • For more information about Defenders of the Earth, visit:

    80s Nostalgia
    (Excellent site, with info, pictures, sound clips and video clips!)

    (Info and message board for DOE fans)

    Pazsaz Entertainment
    (Episode guide)

    Various Projects

    • NBC made a pilot for a Mandrake TV-series in 1954, but it was never followed up. Woody Strode was the actor who played Lothar.
    • According to, there was a 1979 TV movie about Mandrake, starring Anthony Herrera as Mandrake and Ji-Tu Cumbuka as Lothar.
    • Italian master director Federico Fellini wanted to do a movie about Mandrake, with his favourite actor Marcello Mastroianni as the Magician. However, that was never made.
    • There's also reports about a Mandrake movie project starring Kevin Kline, that also never was made
    • Lee Falk wrote a musical called "Mandrake the Magician meets the Enchantress".
    • Mandrake is the name of a software developed by Linux. And if you think that it's a coincidence and has nothing to do with the comics, then you should know that they also have a software called Lothar...

    If you have more info about these and other Mandrake-related projects, please contact me!

    Real-life Mandrake

    There has been a REAL Mandrake the Magician... his name was Leon Mandrake (1910-1993). He was a popular conjuror, illusionist, mentalist, manipulator, ventriliquist and fire eater. He became professionnal before he reached his teens and performed throughout his whole life. He had been performing for well over a decade before Lee Falk & Phil Davis introduced the comic strip Mandrake the Magician. The comic character bore a strong resemblance to the real-life performer, known for his top hat, pencil line moustache and scarlet-lined cape. Mandrake starred in two TV-shows, Bag of Tricks and Alexander the Great, and was awarded the Performing Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts in 1978.

    The comic Mandrake has also been a big inspiration for many real-life magicians... The Amazing Kreskin, for example, was a huge fan of Mandrake and once even met Lee Falk, who said that Kreskin had come closer than anyone to to achieving the ideal of his character.

    For more info on Mandrake's connection to magicians in the real world, visit:

    Hades Publications
    (bio on Leon Mandrake)

    Little Egypt Magic
    (Interview with the Amazing Kreskin)

    Indian Magique
    (A tribute to Lee Falk)

    © Andreas Eriksson