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View Full Version : Chimpanzee "Cheetah" (old Tarzan flicks) Still Alive?


ralph124c
04-11-2008, 07:10 PM
I heard this on a local radio station-the chimpanzee that played alongside Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller is STILL alive?? That would make the chimp something like 75 years old!
Is this true? I thought that chimps lived about 40 years.
Speaking of those old Tarzan movies-is "Boy" still alive?

Cisco
04-11-2008, 07:13 PM
He's still alive. Last I heard he has his own house in Palm Springs and sells his paintings on ebay.


No, seriously.

Governor Quinn
04-11-2008, 07:18 PM
Speaking of those old Tarzan movies-is "Boy" still alive?

Johnny Sheffield (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0790788/) is still around, and fairly recent interviews of him are floating around the Internet (http://www.tarzanmovieguide.com/sheffint.htm)

samclem
04-11-2008, 07:32 PM
He's still alive. Last I heard he has his own house in Palm Springs and sells his paintings on ebay.


No, seriously.Damn! I thought you meant "Cheetah" was still alive and doing quite well for a chimp. :)

Icarus
04-11-2008, 08:00 PM
Damn! I thought you meant "Cheetah" was still alive and doing quite well for a chimp. :)

That is what they meant. Cheeta is alive at 76 years old, living in Palm Springs, and selling paintings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeta)

samclem
04-11-2008, 08:38 PM
That is what they meant. Cheeta is alive at 76 years old, living in Palm Springs, and selling paintings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeta)
Well, I"ll be a "monkey's uncle."

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
04-11-2008, 08:54 PM
That is what they meant. Cheeta is alive at 76 years old, living in Palm Springs, and selling paintings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeta)Of course, what he really wants to do is direct.

Johnny L.A.
04-11-2008, 08:55 PM
Johnny Sheffield (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0790788/) is still around, and fairly recent interviews of him are floating around the Internet (http://www.tarzanmovieguide.com/sheffint.htm)
Jai (Manuel Padilla Jr) is dead though.

blondebear
04-11-2008, 09:00 PM
Yep, Cheetah is living the high life, alright.

Most of his fellow animal actors end up in far less posh surroundings.

cochrane
04-11-2008, 09:01 PM
I heard this on a local radio station-the chimpanzee that played alongside Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller is STILL alive?? That would make the chimp something like 75 years old!
Is this true? I thought that chimps lived about 40 years.
Speaking of those old Tarzan movies-is "Boy" still alive?
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee#Lifespan), chimpanzees do indeed live only 40 years in the wild. But captive chimps (i.e. those which have access to veterinary care, and don't compete with other chimpanzees for food or status) have been known to live for 60 years or longer.

Cisco
04-11-2008, 11:10 PM
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee#Lifespan), chimpanzees do indeed live only 40 years in the wild. But captive chimps (i.e. those which have access to veterinary care, and don't compete with other chimpanzees for food or status) have been known to live for 60 years or longer.
Still - he broke the record 12 years ago. He is anomalous as far as our knowledge of non-human primates goes.

Terrifel
04-11-2008, 11:19 PM
Interestingly, a primate sanctuary in Palm Harbor FL also claims to be caring for a "Cheetah" from Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies. This one's name is Mike (http://www.suncoastprimate.org/cheetahbio.html) and he is also supposed to be over 70.

Were I a more cynical person, I might harbor suspicions that any sufficiently elderly chimpanzee eventually becomes "Cheetah" from Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies.

astro
04-11-2008, 11:56 PM
Interestingly, a primate sanctuary in Palm Harbor FL also claims to be caring for a "Cheetah" from Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies. This one's name is Mike (http://www.suncoastprimate.org/cheetahbio.html) and he is also supposed to be over 70.

Were I a more cynical person, I might harbor suspicions that any sufficiently elderly chimpanzee eventually becomes "Cheetah" from Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies.

Since animal parts in TV and movies often had multiple "actors" this could actually be true if more than one chimp played Cheetah.

GIGObuster
04-12-2008, 12:41 AM
"Now, Tarzan make war!" Tarzan Triumphs (1943)

The best Cheeta moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiQ-RKVp4Lo

This bit of anachronism was the result of the WWII war effort, Tarzan fights against the Nazis (even Cheeta machine guns one Nazi!) and at the end of the movie Cheeta takes over the radio the Nazis were using and the Nazi HQ confuse him with the Führer. :)

cochrane
04-12-2008, 03:57 AM
Since animal parts in TV and movies often had multiple "actors" this could actually be true if more than one chimp played Cheetah.
That sounds as if it is likely. A near example might be with the two Clint Eastwood movies, "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can" in which a different orangutan played "Clyde" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080377/trivia) in each movie.

JThunder
04-12-2008, 10:40 AM
Bah. Orangutans. They all look alike.

Lust4Life
04-12-2008, 11:05 AM
That is what they meant. Cheeta is alive at 76 years old, living in Palm Springs, and selling paintings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeta)

Is he a Doper living in Orlando and claiming to be English?


Just a thought.

Sampiro
06-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Bumping this thread rather than starting another (since it's not likely to start any arguments) for a MPTIMS that's CS related:

Walk of Fame Says Chimp's a Chump! (http://www.tmz.com/2008/06/19/walk-of-fame-says-the-chimps-a-chump/)
Posted Jun 19th 2008 1:30PM by TMZ Staff

Legendary chimp thespian Cheeta's chance to have his name permanently etched on the Walk of Fame has just been shot down. What a load of ape dump!

The 76-year-old chimpanzee actor, who's starred in flicks like "Tarzan" and "Bedtime for Bonzo," didn't receive enough votes from the Walk of Fame Committee to have a star placed in his honor in '09

C'mon people! Give him a star! While I doubt he's exactly heartrboken over the honor, you can't convince me a 76 year old chimp (the equivalent of being well over 100 for a human) and one of the last recognizable bankable household-name movie stars from the 1930s doesn't deserve a star when The Monkees and Jennifer Love Hewitt have one. Poor babe.

(I love the reports that he actually watches his old movies with his grandchildren- true.)

An Arky
06-19-2008, 06:48 PM
I did a thread on his birthday (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=366805) a couple of years ago...I think it's so cool!

He should totally have a star on the walk of fame.

mobo85
06-19-2008, 07:19 PM
Tinker Bell over Cheeta? I know Disney has clout, but I don't think she deserves a star as much as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Kermit the Frog*. Cheeta definitely does though.

*Kermit's star was awarded in 2002, while the character was still owned by Jim Henson Productions.

Terrifel
06-19-2008, 07:39 PM
(I love the reports that he actually watches his old movies with his grandchildren- true.)"--this one was pretty much all shot on the MGM backlot. Money was tight after Thalberg died; a lot o' these scenes are recycled from earlier movies. Now this scene here, see that big fella in back? That's Elmo Lincoln. Ol' 'Mo was the first Tarzan in movies, back in the silent days with National Pictures. He didn't even get screen credit for this one. He was a real trooper though. Helluva guy; always good for a cigar. Say, did I ever tell you about the time I threw my feces at Dalton Trumbo?--"

Since nobody appears to have linked to it yet: Cheeta's IMDb page. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1426535/)

Sir Rhosis
06-19-2008, 09:59 PM
That sounds as if it is likely. A near example might be with the two Clint Eastwood movies, "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can" in which a different orangutan played "Clyde" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080377/trivia) in each movie.

A documentary on the DVD set of Weissmuller's six MGM Tarzan films (released back around '04 or so) stated that there were four main chimps who played Cheeta in Weissmuller's twelve films (32-48). The surviving Cheeta was shown with his owner at home. Poor old dude seemed a little slow and had gained a lot of weight, but he still enjoyed tickling the ivories. Being somewhat tone deaf I couldn't hazard a guess as to how good a player he was. :D

Seriously, I suppose chimps continue to grow for a long time, but I was struck by just how damn big his head was. Much much larger than any chimps I had ever seen on film or at a circus (and I assume the ones on display at circuses are relatively young). Seemed way out of proportion with his body. Forehead seemed unnaturally elongated to my unscientific eyes.

Sir Rhosis

Sir Rhosis
06-19-2008, 10:11 PM
FTR: A fairly recent picture of Johnny "Boy" Sheffield, who is now 77 years of age.

http://www.erbzine.com/mag5/ld6705v4.jpg

Sir Rhosis

lawoot
06-20-2008, 10:38 AM
Wow - his head's gotten bigger over the years, too!

:p :D

Sir Rhosis
06-20-2008, 01:52 PM
I did sorta figure there'd be "Cheeta has aged better than Sheffiled" jokes. :D Cheeta probably wisely invested his money so he doesn't have to do the convention circuit.

Shagnasty
06-20-2008, 02:48 PM
That sounds as if it is likely. A near example might be with the two Clint Eastwood movies, "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can" in which a different orangutan played "Clyde" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080377/trivia) in each movie.

The Olsen twins are another famous example.

Bah. Orangutans. They all look alike.

See my comments above.

CalMeacham
06-20-2008, 03:03 PM
This bit of anachronism was the result of the WWII war effort, Tarzan fights against the Nazis (even Cheeta machine guns one Nazi!) and at the end of the movie Cheeta takes over the radio the Nazis were using and the Nazi HQ confuse him with the Führer.

Anachronism? You evidently haven't read a lot of Burroughs.


Tarzan fought in the Second World War in the Burroughs-written Tarzan and the Foreign Legion


Earlier, he'd fought in the First World War. No joke. Tarzan's a vet.

Cluricaun
06-20-2008, 03:05 PM
The Olsen twins are another famous example.

Pardon me, but I'm rather sure that the Olsen twins are not orangutans but instead part of the pygmy mouse lemur family.

carnivorousplant
06-20-2008, 05:04 PM
Tarzan's a vet.
He is Lord Greystoke. He is educated, speaks several languages and owns an estate in Africa. I've not read the particular novels, but I should be surprised if he didn't fight for King and Country. :)

carnivorousplant
06-20-2008, 05:08 PM
Pardon me, but I'm rather sure that the Olsen twins are not orangutans but instead part of the pygmy mouse lemur family.
By gad, I can see (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mouse-lemur.html) the resemblence. (http://three65.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/olsen-twins-nose-job.jpg)

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
10-06-2009, 04:59 PM
Eh. . . Maybe, maybe (probably) not (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112500939.html?hpid=features1&hpv=national).

Duckster
10-06-2009, 05:35 PM
That is what they meant. Cheeta is alive at 76 years old, living in Palm Springs, and selling paintings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheeta)


According to this article, nope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiggs_%28chimpanzee%29#Cheeta). Not the same one as in the movies.

MovieMogul
10-06-2009, 06:22 PM
No joke. Tarzan's a vet.Well, surrounded by all those animals, I wouldn't wonder if he picked up a few medical skills along the way...

Sampiro
10-06-2009, 06:31 PM
"Tonight on Nancy Grace... for fifty years he's been livin' a LIE! Takin' accolades that didn't belong to him, pretendin' he was all in with the Hollywood in crowd, but now it turns out he's nothin' but a half erect chimpanzee identity thief! We uncover this- who is he really, what'd he do with the real Cheeta, and where was he the night that Natalie Holloway disappeared in Aruba, and then my twins will read from my new novel..."

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