NEWS
18/10/2019 7:31 AM AEDT

Wife Of Tarzan Actor Ron Ely Stabbed To Death By Their Son

30-year-old Cameron Ely was shot dead by police.

The wife of Tarzan actor Ron Ely has been stabbed to death by the couple’s son, US authorities have said.

Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, was found dead in the family’s southern California home on Tuesday night.

Her son Cameron was found outside the property during a search and was shot dead by four deputies after an unspecified threat, a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s statement said

Authorities say after an unspecified threat, four deputies fired on the 30-year-old he was killed.

Ron Ely, 81, described in the sheriff’s account as disabled, was also found at the home and taken to an area hospital for evaluation. There was no immediate word on what may have precipitated the stabbing, Reuters reports.

Ely is best known for playing the title role in the original prime-time TV “Tarzan” series, which ran from fall 1966 until fall 1969 - first on NBC, then on CBS.

Ron Galella via Getty Images
Ron Ely and wife Valerie Lundeen pictured in 1977 at Billy Jean King Tennis Stadium at Forest Hills in New York City.

He was the 14th screen actor to inhabit the role of the jungle hero created by Edgar Rice Burroughs since “Tarzan of the Apes” was released as a silent movie nearly a half century earlier.

Ely performed most of his own stunts, although the famed Tarzan yell was dubbed from a recording of Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic champion swimmer who starred as Tarzan in a dozen Hollywood film during the 1930s and ’40s.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ron Ely pictured 1987.

In the 1980s, Ely hosted the game show “Face the Music” and twice hosted the Miss America Pageants.

He and Lundeen, a former Miss Florida USA, married in 1984 and had three children, including Cameron.