Ron Ely as TARZAN

Ron Ely as Tarzan, Texan Ronald Pierce “Ron” Ely was born on 1938. In The mid 1950s, he enrolled at the University of Texas, but he soon made his way to California. After signing with 20th Century Fox in the late 1950s, Ely appeared in small roles in several films and television series, including the films South Pacific and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker and the TV series How to Marry a Millionaire. In 1960 Ely was cast in the CBS series The Aquanauts, but the show was cancelled after just one season. Several more films followed, but his big break did not come until 1966, when the 6'4" actor was cast in the role of Tarzan for the TV series of the same name.

Ely had tried out for the role of Tarzan, but he lost out to football player turned to actor. Mark Henry made three Tarzan films and was originally cast for the series, but he declined it after some bad experiences while shooting his first Tarzan film. Ely was then cast in the role.

After a number of attempts to create a Tarzan TV series had failed, producer Sy Weintraub finally was able to bring Tarzan to the small screen. Tarzan aired on NBC beginning in September 1966 and lasted until September 1968. In the series, there is no Jane in sight. Tarzan is assisted only by Cheetah and Jai, an orphan. Citing sagging ratings and rising production costs, NBC canceled Tarzan in 1968. Throughout the run of the series, several films were released, mostly using footage from the series. In the early 1970s, Ely made a number of films in Germany, where he became very popular in a brief series of adventure films. His next hit would come with the release of Doc Savage.Ron Ely,

Ron Ely Today

In the past few years, Ely has cooled his acting career, focusing instead on writing mystery novels focusing on the character, Jake Sands. His novels are titled Night Shadows and East Beach, both published in the mid 1990s. But on occasion, Ely makes appearances on popular TV shows, his most recent being Sheena and Renegade.


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