Gordon Scott, a handsome, muscle-bound actor who portrayed Tarzan in the 1950s, died April 30 in Baltimore of post-heart surgery complications. He was 80.
Scott made 24 movies including “Tarzan and the Lost Safari” (1957), “Tarzan’s Fight for Life” (1958), “Tarzan and the Trappers” (1958), “Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure” (1959) and “Tarzan the Magnificent” (1960).
The cast in the 1959 movie included Sean Connery and Anthony Quayle.
Tarzan, the vine-swinging hero of the jungle, was created by the author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Scott was among a long line of actors, including Johnny Weissmuller and Larry “Buster” Crabbe, who portrayed him.
“He was an absolutely wonderful Tarzan who played the character as an intelligent and nice man who carried himself well, much as my grandfather had originally written it,” Danton Burroughs told The (Baltimore) Sun.
Scott was a lifeguard at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas when he was discovered by Hollywood producer Sol Lesser, said Scott’s brother Rayfield Werschkull.
He was signed to a seven-year-contract after he outperformed 200 other international candidates.
During the 1954 production of his first film, “Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle,” he fell in love with co-star Vera Miles. The couple married that year and divorced four years later.
After the Tarzan movies, Scott appeared in Westerns and gladiator films.
Scott’s later years were spent in Baltimore.
Although some sources said Scott was born in August 1927, his brother told The Sun he was born a year later.