Elmo Lincoln

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Who played the first Tarzan?

Question: Who played the first Tarzan?


Answer: Assuming you mean the first TV Tarzan — this column has a strong small-screen bias, after all — that'd be actor Ron Ely, who was actually the 15th actor to go ape-man. (Elmo Lincoln was the first to discover jungle love in the 1918 big-screen feature Tarzan of the Apes.)

If there's one thing I can say about Ely, he earned his paycheck on the NBC series, which debuted in September 1966 and left the air three years later. The athletic 6-foot-4-inch actor refused to let a stuntman handle the risky shots, so all that beast battling, vine swinging and waterfall diving took a terrible toll on his body. Yet he worked through the pain like a man possessed, which he may well have been. "This Tarzan, it's the part I've been waiting for all my life," director James Komack quoted the actor as saying in a 1967 TV Guide story Kread more

Videos

Alfred Leslie: Cool Man In A Golden Ag
A Double Life
Intolerance
Intolerance

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The Birth of a Nation: Remastered Version
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The Birth of a Nation
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When the Lights Go On Again
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When the Lights Go On Again

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Credits

Year Title Description
1948 Tap Roots Movie, Actor - Sergeant
1947 A Double Life Movie, Actor - Detective
1945 The Man Who Walked Alone Movie, Actor
1944 The Story Of Dr. Wassell Movie, Actor
1944 When The Lights Go On Again Movie, Actor - Farmer

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