Ron Ely

Ronald Pierce Ely (born June 21, 1938)[3] is an American actor and novelist born in Hereford, Texas and raised in Amarillo.

Ely is best known for having portrayed Tarzan on the 1966 NBC series Tarzan and for playing the lead role in the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975).

Ron Ely
Barbara Bouchet Ron Ely Fernando Lamas Tarzan 1968
Ron Ely (center) as Tarzan, 1968.
Ronald Pierce Ely

June 21, 1938 (age 80)
OccupationNovelist, actor
Years active1957–2001, 2014–present
Spouse(s)Cathy Ely (1959-1961)[1]
Valerie Lundeen (1984- present) (three children)[2]


Ely won the role of Tarzan in 1966 after playing various supporting parts in films such as South Pacific (1958), as an airplane navigator, The Fiend Who Walked the West (1958) and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959), as well as a guest-starring role on Barbara Eden's first television series, the romantic comedy How to Marry a Millionaire.[4]

During the filming of Tarzan, Ely did virtually all of his stunts for the series, and suffered two dozen major injuries in the process, including two broken shoulders and various lion bites.[5]

Ely's height (6'4") and athletic build also won him the title role in the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975), as well as various guest shots. In a 1978 Fantasy Island episode, for example, Ely portrayed Mark Antony in a Roman military short tunic and breastplate. Also in 1978, Ely starred in the Wonder Woman (TV series) 2 part episode The Deadly Sting.

From 1960-61, Ely starred on the series The Aquanauts, and the western adventure film The Night of the Grizzly (1966) opposite Clint Walker, and later appeared in Jürgen Goslar's slavery movie Slavers (1978). In the 1980s, he hosted the musical game show Face the Music, as well as the 1980 and 1981 Miss America Pageants, replacing longtime host Bert Parks. Later in the decade, Ely starred in a 1987–88 revival of the 1960s adventure series Sea Hunt as Mike Nelson, the role played by Lloyd Bridges in the original series.[4]

In the 1990s, Ely’s roles included a retired Superman from an alternate reality in the 1991 two-part episode "The Road to Hell" of the Superboy syndicated television series, and a big game hunter named Gordon Shaw in the 1992 episode "Tarzan the Hunted" of the syndicated Tarzán TV series (starring Wolf Larson). Until about 2001, Ely made appearances on such television shows as Sheena and Renegade.[4]

Ely had retired from acting in 2001, but as reported by the IMDb, he returned to acting with an appearance in the television movie Expecting Amish (2014).[4]


Ely embarked on a professional writing career and has authored two published mystery novels featuring private eye Jake Sands: Night Shadows (1994) and East Beach (1995).

Personal life

Ely is married to former Miss Florida, Valerie Lundeen. They have three children, Kirsten, Kaitland, and Cameron.


  1. ^ "Ron Ely profile". Notable Names Data Base.
  2. ^ "Ron Ely looks back at Tarzan". Daily Express. April 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "BnF catalog entry for Ron Ely". Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Ron Ely on IMDb
  5. ^ Rutledge, Leigh W. (1989). The Gay Fireside Companion. Alyson Publications, Inc. p. 146.

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Bert Parks
Miss America host
Succeeded by
Gary Collins
Media offices
Preceded by
Mike Henry
Actors to portray Tarzan
Succeeded by
Robert Ridgely
100 Fäuste und ein Vaterunser

100 Fäuste und ein Vaterunser (English: 100 Fists and a Prayer) is an Italian-German film directed by Mario Siciliano. It was released in 1972.

1938 in television

The year 1938 in television involved some significant events.

Below is a list of television-related events during 1938.

Ely (surname)

Ely is a surname which may refer to:

Alfred Ely (1815-1892), American politician

Arthur V. Ely (1912–1942), United States Navy officer and Navy Cross recipient

Ben Ely (born 1970), Australian musician

Bill Ely (1869–1957), Australian politician

Bob Ely (born 1958), American entrepreneur, former investment banker and 2012 presidential candidate

Dudley Ely (1817–1895), first mayor of South Norwalk, Connecticut

Eugene Burton Ely (1886-1911), American aviation pioneer

Frederick D. Ely (1838-1921), American politician

Harold Ely (1909–1983), American football player

Harry Ely, American football and baseball coach, mainly in the 1890s

Harry Ely (baseball), American baseball player

Helena Rutherfurd Ely (1858–1920), American author, amateur gardener and founding member of the Garden Club of America

Jack Ely (1943–2015), American guitarist and singer, best known for singing the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie"

Janet Ely (born 1953), American diver

Joe Ely (born 1947), American singer, songwriter and guitarist

John Ely (disambiguation)

Joseph B. Ely (1881–1956), 52nd Governor of Massachusetts

Melvin Ely (born 1978), American basketball player

Michael Ely, author

Nathaniel Ely (1605–1675), founding settler of Hartford and Norwalk, Connecticut

Reginald Ely (fl. 1438-1471), English architect

Richard T. Ely (1854-1943), American economist

Rodrigo Ely (born 1993), Brazilian-Italian footballer

Ron Ely (born 1938), stage name of American actor Ronald Pierce

Shyra Ely (born 1983), American former Women's National Basketball Association player

Smith Ely, Jr. (1825–1911), New York City mayor and member of the United States House of Representatives

Sumner Ely (1787–1857), New York politician

Talfourd Ely (1838–1923), English archaeologist and classicist

Theodore N. Ely (1846-1916), American businessman

Thomas C. Ely, American bishop

Victoria Joyce Ely (1889–1979), American nurse

William Ely (disambiguation)

Expecting Amish

Expecting Amish is a 2014 American television drama film produced and directed by Richard Gabai. It stars AJ Michalka, Jesse McCartney, Alyson Stoner, Cayden Boyd, Aurelia Scheppers, and Avery Kristen Pohl.

Face the Music (U.S. game show)

Face the Music is an American television game show that aired daily in syndication from January 14, 1980 to September 1981. The show was hosted by actor Ron Ely, with Dave Williams as announcer for the first season and John Harlan the second with Art James as a substitute. The Tommy Oliver Orchestra, with Lisa Donovan as vocalist, was also featured. Face the Music was produced and distributed by Sandy Frank Productions.

The basic premise of Face the Music was a musical guessing game in the same vein as Name That Tune (also in Russia), which Sandy Frank was also distributing when Face the Music premiered and for whom Tommy Oliver had been the orchestra director during the mid-1970s. The twist, however, was that in addition to identifying the songs that the orchestra played, the contestants had to link the song titles to famous people, places, and things.

Ivan Tors

Ivan Tors (born Iván Törzs; June 12, 1916 in Budapest, Hungary – June 4, 1983 in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso) was a Hungarian playwright, film director, screenwriter, and film and television producer with an emphasis on non-violent but exciting science fiction, underwater sequences, and stories involving animals. He started a Miami-based film studio now known as Greenwich Studios, and later a music company.

Jock Mahoney

Jock Mahoney (born Jacques Joseph O'Mahoney, February 7, 1919 – December 14, 1989) was an American actor and stuntman. He starred in two western television series, The Range Rider and Yancy Derringer. He played Tarzan in two feature films and was associated in various capacities with several other Tarzan productions. He was sometimes credited as Jack O'Mahoney or Jock O'Mahoney.

Robert Ridgely

Robert Ridgely (December 24, 1931 – February 8, 1997) was an American actor and voice artist, known for both on-camera roles and extensive voice-over work.

Tarzan's Deadly Silence

Tarzan's Deadly Silence is a 1970 adventure film composed of an edited two-part television episode of Tarzan released as a feature. It stars Ron Ely as Tarzan. Former Tarzan actor Jock Mahoney and Woody Strode (a veteran of two previous Tarzan films) co-star. The film was produced by Sy Weintraub and Leon Benson, written by Lee Erwin, Jack H. Robinson, John Considine, and Tim Considine (based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by Robert L. Friend.

Tarzan (1966 TV series)

Tarzan is a series that aired on NBC from 1966 to 1968. The series portrayed Tarzan (played by Ron Ely) as a well-educated character who had grown tired of civilization, and returned to the jungle where he had been raised. It was filmed in Brazil. The production later relocated to Mexico. This series was set in the newly independent Africa of the time.

This series retained many of the trappings of the film series, included the "Tarzan yell" and Cheeta, but excluded Jane as part of the "new look" for the fabled apeman that executive producer Sy Weintraub had introduced in previous motion pictures starring Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, and Mike Henry. CBS aired repeat episodes of the program during the summer of 1969.

Tarzan and the Jungle Boy

Tarzan and the Jungle Boy is a 1968 adventure film starring Mike Henry in his third and final outing as Tarzan. Rafer Johnson and Aliza Gur co-star. The film was produced by Sy Weintraub and Robert Day, written by Stephen Lord (based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by Robert Gordon. It was released in May 1968.

Tarzan in film and other non-print media

Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. The character proved immensely popular and quickly made the jump to other media, first and most notably to comics and film. This article concerns Tarzan's appearance in film and other non-print media.


Tarzán was a French-Canadian-Mexican television series that aired in syndication from 1991–94. In this version of the show, Tarzan (Wolf Larson) was portrayed as a blond environmentalist, with Jane (Lydie Denier) turned into a French ecologist. The series aired in syndication in the United States.

Ron Ely, famous for playing Tarzan in the original series, played a character named Gorden Shaw in the first-season episode “Tarzan the Hunted”.

The Aquanauts

The Aquanauts (later known as Malibu Run) is an American adventure/drama series that aired on CBS in the 1960-1961 season. The series stars Keith Larsen, Jeremy Slate and Ron Ely, who later replaced Larsen on midseason.

The Fiend Who Walked the West

The Fiend Who Walked the West is a 1958 Western movie based on the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death. Almost a horror western, the story involves a psychotic ex-convict terrorising his former cellmate and his family. The film stars Hugh O'Brian, Robert Evans, Dolores Michaels, Linda Cristal, and Stephen McNally.

The Man of Bronze

The Man of Bronze is a Doc Savage pulp novel by Lester Dent writing under the house name Kenneth Robeson. It was published in March 1933. It was the basis of the 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze starring Ron Ely.

Ziv Television Programs

Ziv Television Programs, Inc. was an American production company that specialized in productions for first-run television syndication in the 1950s.

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