Former Tarzan Actor and NFL Player Mike Henry Died Aged 84.
ACTOR Mike Henry, famous for playing the character Tarzan in the 1960s, died at the age of 84 on January 8 at St Joseph Medical Centre in Burbank, California. The death was confirmed on Thursday (February 4) by the actor’s widow, Cheryl, in an interview with Variety.
For years, Henry had previously struggled with chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a neural disease that occurs after frequent blows or bumps to the head and arguably stems from his days as a professional football player – and had also been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for years.
Cheryl and daughter Shannon Noble said in a statement “You could not find anyone who has ever spoken badly about Mike. He was one of the most lovable men who have ever graced this earth.” The two had been married for 36 years.
Before Henry enjoyed success as an actor, he was a linebacker on the defensive for the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team, and later he was on the lawn for the Los Angeles Rams. He ended his sports career in 1964.
It was while Henry was playing for the Rams that he was approached by a producer and invited to play Tarzan. Mike ended up acting in three films as the King of the Jungle: “Tarzan and the Gold Valley” (1966), “Tarzan and the Great River” (1967) and “Tarzan and the Boy in the Jungle” (1968).
He also played Junior, the son of Jackie Gleason’s character in three “Smokey and the Bandit” action comedies from 1977, 1980 and 1983.
His other movie roles included 1974’s “The Longest Yard,” 1973’s “Soylent Green,” 1970’s “Rio Lobo” and 1968’s “The Green Berets.” TV roles included “General Hospital,” “Lou Grant,” “Rhoda,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “77 Sunset Strip.”
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