Saturday, April 15, 2006


Johnny Weissmuller is Long Dead but...

His chimpanzee co-star is alive and well in Palm Springs retirement. Cheetah, the mis-named chimpanzee, who was the companion of Tarzan in films in the 30s and 40s, just celebrated his 74th birthday this past Tuesday.

Starting with Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932, Cheetah was in at least 2 films through 1967 (Tarzan Escapes and Dr. Doolittle, where he played Che Che). I remember Cheetah in most of the Weissmuller Tarzan films, but perhaps my memory is faulty; still, it's good to know he's doing fine all these long years later.

Johnny Sheffield (whose entire film career was in a loincloth as either Boy or Bamba) is also alive but his survival is not as surprising as the graying Cheetah, who has his diabetes under control, I just learned.

(h/t Stephen Green)

It was because of that chimpanzee that I decided I wanted one, convinced my grandmother to buy me one, actually went shopping for one(you can get anything in NYC) when my mother put her foot down and said it’s either the monkey or me. I had little or none voting rights besides my father's vote out weighed mine. So here I celebrate thanks to your news my favorite monkey.
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