Played Jane in 1950s Tarzan movies

Character actress Eve Brent, best known for her work as Jane in two 1958 “Tarzan” pics starring Gordon Scott but a steady presence in film and TV until this year, died Aug. 27 in Sun Valley, Calif. She was 81.

Brent had appeared on the radio as a child and already had a number of film and television credits when she appeared in the movies “Tarzan and the Trappers” and “Tarzan’s Fight for Life.” Taking the role of Jane, however, led to offers of similar parts and thus to frustration for the actress.

Over the next decade she worked onstage and in minor roles on TV — “The Big Valley,” “Family Affair,” “The Red Skelton Hour,” “Dragnet” — and in movies (she went uncredited for her role as a hooker in Clint Eastwood starrer “Coogan’s Bluff” and as a passenger in “Airport”).

During the 1970s, she picked up more film roles, but not necessarily better ones. She was in Disney’s “The Barefoot Executive” but also in

“How’s Your Love Life?,” “The Todd Killings,” “How to Seduce a Woman,” “Timber Tramps” and Charles Bronson starrer “The White Buffalo.” She had a more substantial role in 1980 horror film “Fade to Black,” for which she drew a supporting actress nod from the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films.

In 1984 Brent appeared in Sean Penn-Nicolas Cage starrer “Racing With the Moon,” and more recently she appeared in “The Green Mile”; comicstrip adaptation “Garfield”; and (in an uncredited role) “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

She completed work this year on the film “Hit List,” which will be released in March.

On the smallscreen, Brent regularly guested on shows ranging from “thirtysomething” to “Twin Peaks,” appearing most recently in a 2006 episode of “Scrubs” and last year in an episode of “Community.”

Brent was born Jean Ewers in Texas, growing up in Fort Worth.

Survivors include a son.

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