- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 5, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gordon Scott, a handsome, muscular actor who portrayed Tarzan in the 1950s, died April 30 of complications from surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 80.

Mr. Scott, who had been living in a working-class section of South Baltimore, 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 author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Mr. Scott was among a long line of actors, including Johnny Weissmuller and 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.

Mr. Scott was a lifeguard at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas when he was discovered by Hollywood producer Sol Lesser, his brother, Rayfield Werschkull of Portland, Ore., said.

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, Mr. Scott appeared in Westerns and gladiator films. His later years were spent in Baltimore, in a row house owned by Roger and Betty Thomas.

“My husband has been a fan of his since he was a child. When we were in Hollywood about eight years ago, we looked him up,” Mrs. Thomas said. “We invited him for a visit. He came and never left.”

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