Tom Tyler was the first actor to portray the Phantom on screen in the Colombia pictures cliffhanger serial produced in 1943. Pictured along side him is actress Jeanne Bates who played the role of Diana Palmer.
JOHN HART, THE PHANTOM THAT NEVER WAS!
There was planned a second serial to follow the Tom Tyler Phantom, but there were contract problems and it never came to light. All that remains are a few moments of film that was shot, and a few promotional pictures taken with John Hart in the title role. The film eventually was re shot, with Hart as the leading man, but was retitled as "CAPTAIN AFRICA".
THE PHANTOM, PARAMOUNT PICTURES 1996, STARRING BILLY ZANE!
Billy Zane was the second actor to take on the role of the Phantom. This film produced in 1996, was according to Lee Falk, as '...the most faithful version of my character to date. I almost believe that Billy Zane is the Phantom for real!' Zane worked out a full year and a half before doning the skintight uniform. He refused to wear a rubber suit under the costume,because he wanted to be true to the character and make sure he had the right muscular look for the character.
Billy Zane was the perfect choice for the Phantom. Not only was he a Phan from way back, but he consulted Lee Falk, creator of the Phantom, on how the Phantom would in real life move, act, and react in situations. If you look closely in the shot above, Zane's hand was injured, and he wore a splint in between takes. This was a candid shot, taken right before the scene in the movie when he was observing the outlaws boat.
KRISTY SWANSON AS DIANA PALMER!
Kristy Swanson played an excellent Diana Palmer, although she was not dark headed as in the comics, she displayed the spunky ,adventurous side that would be a perfect companion to a jungle hero such as the Phantom, and not the whiny damsel in distress.
PATRICK MCGOOHAN AS THE 20TH PHANTOMS GHOST!
Patrick McGoohan played the ghostly image of Kit's father, the 20th Phantom. Patrick was most notable for his role as "Danger Man", (AKA Secret Agent here in the U.S.A.),"The Prisoner", Ice Station Zebra and "the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" from Disney.
Thailand served as the backdrop of the fictional jungle home of the Phantom, Bengalla. Billy Zane shaved his head, after the initial sequences that required him out of costume, so that he would be more comfortable in the jungle heat of the islands. Zane also took his lunches in costume as well.
CATHERINE ZETA JONES AS SALA!
Catherine Zeta Jones starred as Sala, the leader of the female air pirates, (pictured above with her companions in crime) as they board the downed passenger plane to kidnap Diana Palmer.