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Throwback Thursday: Remember the “Tarzan” TV series?

June 26, 2014

Pop culture is a wonderful guide when it comes to figuring out generational divides.

For example, ask someone with whom they most closely associate the character Tarzan.

If they grew up in the 50s or before, they probably think of Johnny Weismuller.

If they grew up in the 80s. chances are it’s Christopher Lambert – or even Bo Derek, who played Jane in an awful Tarzan remake back then.

The 90s? Probably Disney or Phil Collins.

But the biggest group – the Baby Boomers of the 60s and 70s – probably associate the classic character the most with the 1960s TV show starring Ron Ely.

On the air between 1966 and 1968, the show was one of the few adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous character to do away with Tarzan’s mate Jane. Instead, according to IMDB, “Tarzan (Lord Greystoke), already well-educated and fed up with civilization, returns to the jungle and, more-or-less assisted by chimpanzee Cheetah and orphan boy Jai, wages war against poachers and other bad guys.”

Which brings us to today’s post.

The in-laws of one of our most recent clients were vacationing in Mexico during that time period – and happened to come across the show’s set. Not missing an opportunity to play paparazzi for the day, they shot photos of the unfolding action.

We definitely see Ely, who later gained fame as the man who replaced Bert Parks as the MC of the Miss America pageant. Plus child actor Manuel Padilla Jr. (Jai) and the chimpanzee who played Cheetah.

We don’t know who the woman sitting next to Ely on the set is. Most intriguingly, it could be legendary Broadway actress Julie Harris, who had a recurring role on theJulieharris series as a Christian missionary.

To the right is a still from “Tarzan,” featuring Julie Harris as Charity Jones.Compare them to the woman in the slides that we scanned, which you can see below. Special thanks to our client, who kindly gave us permission to share these scanned vacation mementoes with you.






Just to complete this nostalgic trip to the past, here’s what the show’s intro looked like:

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tarzan fan permalink
    June 26, 2014 7:59 pm

    No, that’s Sally Kellerman.

  2. June 26, 2014 9:03 pm

    Thank you. We have posted closeups of the actress on our Facebook page and a still of her appearance on “Star Trek” around that time. Comparing the images, we are inclined to agree with you.

  3. Sharon permalink
    August 19, 2018 4:15 am

    Why was the series canceled?

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