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WonderCon 2013: Tarzan tells a tale of Tiger at Warner Bros. Pulp TV Panel


A powerful looking Ron Ely, star of the TV’s “Tarzan”(1966-1968) and “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” (1975) spellbound 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 his attending every feeding,  Ely and the Tarzan production crew took precautions to insure no one would be hurt.  By forbidding a gun on the set, Ely was also insuring the tiger’s safety.

“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” 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.  One such is “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.


  1. Ron Ely! Back in the day, he WAS Tarzan. Those tv episodes probably haven’t aged as well as 74 year old Ely, but they sure were fun to watch.

    And they ran just before Hockey Night In Canada, where 6 teams of real men fought to the death over possession of a little round chunk of black rubber.

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