Ron Ely

Active - 1958 - 2014  |   Born - Jun 21, 1938   |   Genres - Adventure, Action, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Tall (6'4"), imposing actor Ron Ely was chosen, from 300 applicants, as Tarzan number 15 after moviedom's 14th Tarzan, Mike Henry, pulled out of the 1966 TV series based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs "lord of the apes." Briefly a contract player at 20th Century-Fox in the late 1950s, Ely had previously starred in the 1961 TV adventure series Malibu Run. At first he balked at the notion of playing the "monosyllabic" Tarzan until he was assured that the character would be possessed of the erudition of an Alistair Cooke. During the next two years' worth of filming in Mexico, Ely suffered enough injuries and indignities to convince him not to make Tarzan his life's work. He went on to star in George Pal's final theatrical feature Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze (1975) as well as a brace of German-produced adventure films. On television, Ron Ely hosted the "Miss America" pageant from 1979 through 1981, emceed the syndicated TV game show Face the Music (1980), and starred in the 1987 Canadian-filmed revival of Sea Hunt.

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