Monday, January 31, 2011

Johnny Weismuller

Johnny Weissmuller (June 2, 1904 – January 20, 1984) was an was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal. He won fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. After his swimming career, he became the sixth actor to portray Tarzan in film, a role he played in twelve motion pictures. While dozens of other actors have also played Tarzan, Weissmuller is by far the best known. His character's distinctive, ululating Tarzan yell is still referenced in film and television.

Weismuller, 1922

Duke Kahanamotu, Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weismuller (1932)

Weismuller (1933)

Johnny Weismuller and George O'Brien

Tarzan, The Ape Man (Publicity Still)

Weismuller (Paris, 1924)

 Weismuller Portrait

Johnny Weismuller & Saloman Dominguez at Le Dome (1970)

1 comment:

  1. Johnny was the best Tarzan. My brother and I adored the Tarzan series of movies with him in the lead. It had to be around 1964 when we begged our mother to take us to the Montgomery Wards in Houston where we had learned he would be appearing and signing autographed pictures. She finally relented, and there had to have been at least 300 kids in the crowd when we got there. He was very patient and very friendly signing his black and white 8 x 10 studio picture of him as Tarzan with each kid's name (To: So and so). We made our way to the front shoulder to shoulder with other boys and the noise level was so high that I had to shout out to him my name and my younger brother's. When he passed me the two pictures, we made our way out of the packed crowd. Of course, he was much older in person and that was didappointing to two young boys who idolized him as the young, strong, robust Tarzan (I knew he wouldn't be the same age as the guy in the movies, but still I kind of expected him to be). I handed my brother his personslly autographed photo from Tarzan and when we looked at our hard-won treasures, he had mispelled my name as Freddie instead of Freddy--an honest mistake--but he had written the entire name of my brother wrong, writing "To: Robin..." instead of "Robert." Another honest mistake because the noise level from all those boys had been deafening and when I shouted out "Robert," he had heard "Robin." Still, I cracked up at the irony of the whole thing because those pictures now meant nothing to us since our names were not those written on the photos. My little brother was angry about it but I hsdcto laugh at the irony of it all.