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Ron Ely

Ron Ely
Ron Ely as Tarzan
Personal information
Birth nameRonald Pierce Ely
Birth dateJune 21, 1938(age 78)
Place of birthHereford, Texas, U.S.

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Ronald Pierce "Ron" Ely (born June 21, 1938) is an American actor and novelist born in Hereford, Texas. Ely is best known for having portrayed Tarzan in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan and for playing the lead role in the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

Ely obtained the role after playing various bit-parts, including an airplane navigator in the 1958 film South Pacific and a guest-starring role on Barbara Eden's first television series, the romantic comedy How to Marry a Millionaire. Ely's height (6' 4") and athletic build also won him the title role in the 1975 film Doc Savage, 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 that displayed almost as much of his physique as his Tarzan costume had.

From 1960-61, Ely starred in the series The Aquanauts. In the 1980s, Ely hosted the musical game show Face the Music. Additionally, Ely hosted the 1980 and 1981 Miss America Pageants, replacing longtime host Bert Parks.

In the 1990s, Ely’s roles included a retired Superman 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).

In recent years Ely has embarked on a successful writing career and has penned two mystery novels featuring private eye Jake Sands: Night Shadows (1994) and East Beach (1995). Until about 2001, Ely made appearances on popular TV shows, his most recent being Sheena and Renegade. He is now retired from acting.

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