Tarzan (1966)

NBC (ended 1968)


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Tarzan (1966) Fan Reviews (2)

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  • The adventures of Tarzan, portrayed by Ron Ely, as an erudite advocate of peace and preservation while still fulfilling his usual characterization: a white man raised by apes in the jungles of Africa, hence referred to as, Tarzan the Ape Man.

    One of the best of my childhood favorite series. Despite his overly well-groomed hair, Ron Ely really looked the part of the title role. He was lean and exuded strength in body, spirit and mentality. He insisted on performing his own stunts, subjecting himself to injuries in the rigorous adventures, including scenes involving falls, fire and live animals.

    The story lines varied considerably, some being rather intense and others light-hearted. He had a few regular friends, most notably a boy named Jai played by Manuel Padilla Jr. and Cheeta, his long-time chimpanzee buddy.

    Besides interesting stories the series was very well served by attracting excellent guest stars, with the likes of Helen Hayes, George Kennedy and James Earl Jones making co-star appearances.

    Possibly my favorite episode involved Tarzan surviving explosions in the water where he had been hiding, leaving him temporarily deaf.
  • Tarzan

    Tarzan ran on NBC from 1966-68 and starred Ron Ely in the title role as Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. Manuel Padilla, Jr. co-starred as Jai, his boy sidekick along with Cheetah the Chimp, their simian friend. This was a show that NBC obviously had high hopes for as witnessed by the number of big name guest stars who appeared: Helen Hayes, Maurice Evans, Julie Harris, Ethel Merman, and even Diana Ross and the Supremes. But it was scheduled directly opposite Wild, Wild West and TV viewers apparently preferred that show's brand of adventure over Tarzan's.

    Nonetheless, this version of Tarzan was quite well-done. Ron Ely, though not a great actor, was effective in the title role and his characterization of the Jungle Lord was probably the closest ever on-screen to the Tarzan of the original novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Manuel Padilla, Jr. lent fine support as boy sidekick Jai even if his character could get tiresome at times. Tarzan was a good show that should have lasted longer.