Buster Crabbe

Buster Crabbe


2/17/1907, Oakland, California



Birth Name

Clarence Linden Crabbe II



Also Known As

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LARRY "BUSTER" CRABBE was born in Oakland, but grew up in Hawaii. It was here that he developed into a great swimmer and high school athlete. He went to HOLLYWOOD where he started out by portraying TARZAN. He later played other action hero characters usually in Westerns and…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Buster's son, Cullen, co-starred with him on Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion.

    • Buster's pools, from the Buster Crabbe Pool Company, were a featured prize on The Price Is Right in the late 1950s to early 1960s.

    • Buster won the bronze medal for the Olympic 1500-meter freestyle swimming competition in 1928.

    • Buster won the 1932 Olympic 400-meter freestyle swimming championship and this fact was used by Columbia to play up a 'rivalry' between him and MGM star Johnny Weissmuller in publicity for his role of Kaspa, The Lion Man in King Of The Jungle (1933).

    • Buster's grandson Nick Holt is now head defensive football coach at the University Of Southern California, where he graduated in 1931.

    • Buster was married to Adah Virginia Held from 1933 until his death.

    • Buster was Vice President of Sales for the Cascade Industries swimming pool company in the late 1960s.

    • Buster was featured in several comic book series, including:

      Buster Crabbe Comics, published by Famous Funnies Publications from #1 (November 1951) to #12 (September 1953).
      The Amazing Adventures Of Buster Crabbe, The All-American Hero, published by Lev Gleason Publications, from #1 (December 1953) to #4 (January 1954).
      Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion, published by Charlton Comics, from #1 (January 1955) to #4 (September 1956).
      #1 of this series was also published as a Heinz Foods giveaway, and had photos of Buster replacing ads that were in the regular version.

    • Buster hosted showings of his movies in 1950 on Monday nights on WOR-TV in New York City.

    • Buster starred in 9 serials altogether for different studios, including:

      Tarzan The Fearless (Principal, 1933)
      Flash Gordon (Universal, 1936)
      Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars (Universal, 1938)
      Red Barry (Universal, 1938)
      Buck Rogers (Universal, 1939)
      Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe (Universal, 1940)
      The Sea Hound (Columbia, 1947)
      Pirates Of The High Seas (Columbia, 1950)
      King Of The Congo (Columbia, 1952)

    • Buster was the Guest of Honor at Multicon 70 science-fiction convention in Oklahoma City, OK on June 18-21, 1970.

    • Buster didn't think the Flash Gordon (1936) serials would go over with the public and didn't audition for the part. However, being a fan of character, he went to see who was trying out for the part and was spotted by the producer, Henry McRae, who told him he wanted to hire him on the spot since he had Buster in mind for the role to begin with.

    • Buster has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd.

    • Buster was 6 feet 1 inches tall.

    • Buster went on to play Tarzan after he broke the 100-meter swimming Olympic record of Johnny Weissmuller, who then played Tarzan after him.

  • Quotes

    • Buster Crabbe: Some say my acting rose to the level of incompetence and then leveled off. I was a lot better actor than people gave me credit for. I didn't have any training, but I feel if I had been given the chance, I could have become a really good, top-rate actor. I didn't make it like a Gable or Boyer. But I wonder what would have happened if things had been different.