Johnny Weissmuller


Actor
Johnny Weissmuller

About

Also Known As
Peter John Weissmuller, Jonas Weissmuller
Birth Place
Romania
Born
June 02, 1904
Died
January 21, 1984
Cause of Death
Stroke

Biography

Former Olympic swimming champion turned "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932). Weissmuller was Hollywood's longest-running loincloth-clad creeper-swinger and also appeared in the not-unrelated role of "Jungle Jim" in late 1940s and early 50s B-movies and on TV....

Photos & Videos

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - Movie Posters
Tarzan Escapes - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Tarzan Triumphs - Lobby Cards

Family & Companions

Bobbe Arnst
Wife
Showgirl. First wife; married in 1931; divorced in 1932.
Lupe Velez
Wife
Actor. Married in 1933; divorced in 1938; their tumultuous marriage was often fodder for the tabloids.
Beryl Scott
Wife
Married c. 1939; divorced c. 1948; mother of Weissmuller's three children.
Ailene Gates
Wife
Married c. 1948; divorced in the early 1960s.

Bibliography

"Water, World and Weissmuller"
Johnny Weissmuller (1967)
"Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero"
David Fury, Artist's Press

Notes

According to David Fury's biography, Weissmuller was born in Romania and made the claim of having been born in Windber, Pennsylvania in order to compete in the Olympics when technically he wasn't an American citizen.

Weissmuller's perfected Tarzan cry was recorded and used in the 1966-1968 NBC TV-series starring Ron Ely.

Biography

Former Olympic swimming champion turned "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932). Weissmuller was Hollywood's longest-running loincloth-clad creeper-swinger and also appeared in the not-unrelated role of "Jungle Jim" in late 1940s and early 50s B-movies and on TV.

Life Events

1924

Won three Olympic gold medals in swimming, two for solo events and one as part of the US relay team, all breaking world records

1927

Was credited with saving eleven lives, rescuing passengers of a capsized cruise boat in Lake Michigan

1928

Took more Olympic gold as a swimmer with one solo medal and one relay medal, both record-breaking efforts; won a bronze medal in water polo

1929

Played Adonis in the musical revue "Glorifying the American Girl", an early talkie about the rise of a showgirl (Mary Eaton)

1931

Was featured in the swimming shorts "The Human Fish" and "Water Bugs"

1932

Made feature starring debut opposite Maureen O'Sullivan's Jane in "Tarzan the Ape Man"; would go on to star in eleven other Tarzan features, making him the most prolific "Lord of the Jungle"

1934

Starred in "Tarzan and His Mate"

1936

Played the titular fugitive in "Tarzan Escapes"

1939

Paired with Johnny Sheffield as Boy in "Tarzan Finds a Son"

1941

Starred in "Tarzan's Secret Treasure", his third film with director Richard Thorpe

1942

Starred in "Tarzan's New York Adventure", final installment with Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane

1943

Battled Nazis in "Tarzan Triumphs"

1943

Reprised role in "Tarzan's Desert Mystery"

1945

Teamed up with Brenda Joyce as Jane in "Tarzan and the Amazons", directed by Kurt Neumann

1946

Starred in "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman", also helmed by Neumann

1946

Rare non-adventure dramatic role as a soldier struggling to return to civilian life in the melodrama "Swamp Fire"

1947

Final collaboration with Sheffield and Neumann, "Tarzan and the Huntress"

1948

Final feature appearance as Tarzan in "Tarzan and the Mermaids"

1948

Continued his jungle adventures as African safari adventurer "Jungle Jim"; went on to star in thirteen more films as the character

1954

Final film as Jungle Jim, "Jungle Man-Eaters"

1955

Portrayed himself, a "Jungle Jim"-like character in the adventure feature "Devil Goddess" and the similarly themed "Jungle Moon Men"

1955

Reprised character in the syndicated "Jungle Jim" TV-series

1970

Had cameo role as himself in the pop-culture satire "The Phynx"

1983

Inducted into the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame for his achievements in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games

Photo Collections

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of original-release American movie posters for MGM's Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932), starring Johnny Weissmuller.
Tarzan Escapes - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Tarzan Escapes (1936), starring Johnny Weissmuller.
Tarzan Triumphs - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Tarzan Triumphs (1943). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Savage Mutiny - Movie Poster
Here is an original-release 6-Sheet movie poster from Savage Mutiny (1953), starring Johnny Weissmuller. 6-Sheets were large-format posters measuring 81" x 81".

Videos

Movie Clip

Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932) - Let Me Go! Shortly after her abduction, Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) trying to assess the intentions of the strange man in the jungle (Johnny Weissmuller), who's just killed a leopard in her defense, in MGM's original Tarzan, The Ape Man, 1932.
Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932) - I Wish You'd Knock! Having rejoined the title character (Johnny Weissmuller) of her own volition, and nursed him after a nasty scrape with predators, English Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) bathes, leading toward increasingly intimate moments, in MGM's original hit Tarzan, The Ape Man, 1932.
Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932) - He's Taken Her! The first appearance of Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in his famous role, swinging through the trees, alarming naturalist Parker (C. Aubrey Smith) and snatching his daughter Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan), a wacky but normal scene from the original Tarzan, The Ape Man, 1932.
Tarzan And The Huntress (1947) - Never Kill For Fun Johnny Weissmuller (title character) happy with Jane (Brenda Joyce) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield), not aware yet of the hunting expedition led by Tanya (Patricia Morison, also from the title) and Marley (John Warburton), flying above, early in Tarzan And The Huntress, 1947.
Tarzan And The Huntress (1947) - Killer Lion Jungle intrigue as the king (Charles Trowbridge) gets shot in a staged stampede, his son (Ted Hecht) distraught, guests (Barton MacLane, Carl Marley, Patricia Morison) alarmed, creepy Suli (Maurice Tauzin) faking concern and Johnny Weissmuller arriving, in Tarzan And The Huntress, 1947.
Tarzan Triumphs (1943) - Iron Bird Come Having explained that Jane's away in England caring for her mother, Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield) notice a plane, which turns out to be German and drops radio-man Schmidt (Rex Williams), early in Tarzan Triumphs, 1943.
Tarzan Triumphs (1943) - Making Slaves Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield) are chatting with German Schmidt (Rex Williams), whom they've rescued, when they discover neighboring native princess Zandra (Frances Gifford) in trouble, pursued by pith-helmeted Nazis led by Sig Ruman, in Tarzan Triumphs, 1943.
Tarzan And The Amazons - This Is It Jane (Brenda Joyce) mistake's the Amazon bracelet Cheetah picked up from Athena (Shirley O'Hara) as a gift from Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) leaving Sir Guy (Henry Stephenson) and the rest of Jane's friends curious to figure out the significance of the bracelet and find the source in Tarzan and the Amazons, 1945.
Tarzan And The Amazons - Jane's Friends Jane (Brenda Joyce) and her friends sail in to meet Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and the boy (Johnny Sheffield) who quickly prove all Jane has said of Tarzan as he rescues the boy from a nearby alligator in Tarzan and the Amazons, 1945.
Tarzan's New York Adventure - Scratch No Good Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) helps Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) get the proper attire and other objectives he needs to head to New York and begin their search for "Boy" (Johnny Sheffield) in Tarzan's New York Adventure, 1942.
Tarzan And The Amazons - He Is Our Friend "Boy" (Johnny Sheffield) curiously follows Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) as he takes the injured Athena (Shirley O'Hara) back to the Amazon temple where the queen (Maria Ouspenskaya) thanks Tarzan and instructs Athena of her wrong for leaving the temple in Tarzan and the Amazons, 1945.
Tarzan And The Mermaids - Letter From Boy Benji (John Laurenz) is the local postman and Jane (Brenday Joyce) and Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) are hoping he'll bring a letter from "Boy," who's off in England at school, and he doesn't notice runaway princess Mara (Linda Christain) fixing her boat, in Tarzan And The Mermaids, 1948.

Trailer

Tarzan And His Mate - (Original Trailer) Jane gives up friends, home...and most of her clothes in the sexy jungle adventure Tarzan and His Mate, 1934, with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan.
Tarzan and the Amazons - (Original Trailer) Archaeologists trick Boy into helping them find a hidden valley ruled by women in Tarzan and the Amazons (1945).
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - (Original Trailer) A British lord raised by apes kidnaps a beautiful noblewoman exploring Africa with her father in Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) starring Johnny Weissmuller.
Jungle Manhunt - (Original Trailer) Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) leads a Jungle Manhunt (1951) for a famous football player lost in the jungle.
Pygmy Island - (Original Trailer) Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) searches for a female Army captain who's gone missing on Pygmy Island (1950).
Tarzan Escapes - (Original Trailer) In the third Tarzan adventure outsiders try to separate Tarzan and Jane in Tarzan Escapes (1936), starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan.
Tarzan Finds A Son - (Original Trailer) It's a plane crash, not a stork, that provides Tarzan and Jane with Boy in Tarzan Finds A Son (1939).
Tarzan's Secret Treasure - (Original Trailer) Prospectors kidnap Jane and Boy to force the jungle king (Johnny Weissmuller) to reveal the location of a golden treasure in Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941).
Tarzan's New York Adventure - (Original Trailer) When Boy is kidnapped, Tarzan and Jane follow him to Manhattan in Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942).

Family

John Scott Weissmuller
Son
Actor. Born on September 23, 1940; mother, Beryl Scott.
Wendy Ann Weissmuller
Daughter
Born on June 1, 1942; mother, Beryl Scott.
Lisa Weissmuller
Daughter
Born on July 20, 1943; mother, Beryl Scott.

Companions

Bobbe Arnst
Wife
Showgirl. First wife; married in 1931; divorced in 1932.
Lupe Velez
Wife
Actor. Married in 1933; divorced in 1938; their tumultuous marriage was often fodder for the tabloids.
Beryl Scott
Wife
Married c. 1939; divorced c. 1948; mother of Weissmuller's three children.
Ailene Gates
Wife
Married c. 1948; divorced in the early 1960s.
Maria Weissmuller
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography

"Water, World and Weissmuller"
Johnny Weissmuller (1967)
"Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero"
David Fury, Artist's Press

Notes

According to David Fury's biography, Weissmuller was born in Romania and made the claim of having been born in Windber, Pennsylvania in order to compete in the Olympics when technically he wasn't an American citizen.

Weissmuller's perfected Tarzan cry was recorded and used in the 1966-1968 NBC TV-series starring Ron Ely.