Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gordon Scott, R. I. P.

Gordon Scott was the guy who did Tarzan in color, or that's how I remember him. The movies, as I recall, were pretty good. I even have a Viewmaster reel of him and Cheetah related to some movie or other. I haven't looked at it in many years, but the images remain vivid. He was also in a couple of Hercules movies, as were many other muscle men. When Judy and I were living in Denton, Texas, during the first year of our marriage, Channel 11 ran a Hercules movie every Sunday afternoon, so I saw far too many of them. (Thanks to Richard Heft for passing along the news.) Gordon Scott, who played Tarzan in five films during the 1950s, died Monday from complications of surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 79.

Scott, who was befriended by a Brooklyn couple, was taken into the couple's home where he has lived since 2002.

"My husband has been a fan of his since he was child. When we were in Hollywood about eight years ago, we looked him up. They called each other several times, and then we invited him for a visit," said Betty Thomas, a local actress whose stage name is Betty Willey.

"He came and never left," she said.


James Reasoner said...

While you were watching those Hercules movies on Channel 11, I was watching the same movies fifty miles away. Channel 11 showed a lot of Tarzan movies on the weekend, too, and John Wayne movies on the Nine O'Clock Movie during the week. Do you remember how they'd stop the movie at ten o'clock, do fifteen minutes of news and weather, then go back to the movie?

Bill Crider said...

Man, I hated that. But they ran some interesting stuff. For example, all the Lemmy Caution movies with Eddie Constantine, concluding with Alphaville, which was a kick.

Anonymous said...

I paid a bit more attention to Gordon Scott's Tarzan career than most, since my father's name was Gordon Scott. Occasionally he'd get a crank call from some kid, asking him to put Cheetah on, or some such drollery.

I recall the films as being pretty good also, though offering a very stripped-down version of Tarzan -- no Jane, no Boy, no elaborate treehouse with all the latest jungle conveniences. Just a man and his chimp, dealing with the usual lot of bad white hunters and recalcitrant crocs.

Art Scott

Bill Crider said...

I think even Cheetah is missing in one of them. But when you have a croc, who needs a chimp?

Richard Heft said...

Here's an article on Scott's last years: