A powerful looking Ron Ely, star of the TV’s “Tarzan”(1966-1968) and “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” (1975) spell bound his audience at WonderCon Friday, relating his fight with a wild tiger. According to Ely, “The Script read: Tarzan sees tiger, Tarzan fights tiger, Tarzan and tiger walkaway in opposite directions with mutual respect.” Instead of firing the writer and walking off the set as would likely happen these days, the actor concerned himself with how to achieve the scene. Contacting the San Diego Zoo, Ely and his producer’s were able persuade Zoo officials to detour a recently captured tiger from India to the set of “Tarzan” in Burbank. Gaining the Big Cat’s trust by attending every feeding, Ely and the Tarzan production crew took precautions to insure no one would be hurt, including the tiger, with Ely forbidding a gun on the set.
“When we were set to film I hit him on the nose and he gave me a look like ‘Is that the best you got?’ I hit him again and he ignored me. There was only one other thing I knew to do to rouse him–if I turned my back.” Sure enough, the tiger went flying over Ely’s head to pounce and they wrestled. “To a tiger, its just play,” Ely said with equanimity. Much to Ely’s own astonishment, the scene came off as written.
You can enjoy Warner Bros. Archive Collection of “Tarzan” and “Doc Savage” also staring Ron Ely are available at http://www.wbshop.com/category/wbshop_brands/warner+archive.do. Also being released by WarnerBros. Archive Collection: “Bomba, the Jungle Boy” (1949) and “The Adventures of Superboy, Season 3” In coming months there will be additional releases of other Boomer generation Televison shows such as “Maya” starring Jay North. The star of “Dennis the Menace”, now a teen, searches the jungles of India for his missing father aboard an Elephant named Maya. The show was a milestone for TV at its time in that it was filmed on location in India.
UpDate: Warner’s will also be releasing the following through their Family Ent. & Archive Collection:
Wonder Woman (TV movie featuring Cathy Lee Crosby), The Roman Holidays (animated), Popeye (classic animated shorts), Falcon Crest (including interview opportunities with David Selby) , The FBI (including Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), Dr. Kildare (TV series), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Daktari (TV series), Yogi’s Gang (animated), The Completely Mental Mis-Adventures of Ed Grimley (animated), Sugarfoot (TV series), Cheyanne (TV series), The Ricky Gervais Show (animated), Children’s Hospital (TV series), Alice (TV series), Harry O (starring David Jansen, TV series)