Wife of star of Tarzan TV show stabbed by son

LOS ANGELES • The wife of 1960s television Tarzan star Ron Ely has been stabbed to death at their California home by their son.

The latter was then fatally shot by police in a confrontation outside the residence, the authorities said on Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies responding on Tuesday night to reports of a family disturbance in the Hope Ranch suburb of Santa Barbara found the actor's wife Valerie Lundeen, 62, dead from multiple stab wounds.

They identified the suspected killer as the couple's son Cameron Ely, 30.

The elder Ely, 81, described in the sheriff's account as disabled, was also found at the home and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

He is best known for playing the title role in the original prime-time TV Tarzan series, which ran from 1966 until 1969.

He performed most of his own stunts, although the famed Tarzan yell was dubbed from a recording of Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic champion swimmer who starred as Tarzan in a dozen Hollywood films during the 1930s and 1940s.

In the 1980s, Ron Ely hosted game show Face The Music and twice hosted the Miss America pageants.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'Wife of star of Tarzan TV show stabbed by son'. Print Edition | Subscribe