Elmo Lincoln

Active - 1915 - 1952  |   Born - Feb 6, 1889 in Rochester, IN  |   Died - Jun 27, 1952 in Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Adventure, Drama, Western, Action, Romance

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The screen's first Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln might never have landed the role had it not been for WWI. An enormous man (6'1", 230 pounds) who'd worked as an Arkansas law officer before entering films as a bit player, Lincoln was selected on the basis of his physique by D.W. Griffith to play blacksmith White Arm Joe in Birth of a Nation (1915) and the Mighty Man of Valor in Intolerance (1916). He might have continued playing supporting roles indefinitely had not actor Winslow Wilson dropped out of the 1918 production Tarzan of the Apes to fight on the battlefields of France. Rushed into the role of Tarzan, Lincoln gave an impressively virile performance, even though his acting skills left a great deal to be desired. He went on to play Tarzan in two subsequent films and starred in several action-oriented feature films and serials (his credits are sometimes confused with those of actor E.K. Lincoln). He retired from films in 1926 to operate a moderately successful salvage business in Salt Lake City. Returning to Hollywood in 1939, he played bit parts in a number of features, including a brace of Tarzan pictures. At the time of his death, Elmo Lincoln was still active in films, playing tiny roles in Columbia's Charles Starrett Westerns for 55 dollars a day.

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