Roanne Marino

Written by Roanne Marino

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Ron Ely is a name that has been associated with the world of entertainment for decades. From his iconic portrayal of Tarzan in the 1960s television series to his impressive body of work in film and theater, Ely has left an indelible mark on the industry. But there is more to the man behind the roles than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into nine fascinating facts about Ron Ely that showcase his talent, resilience, and the remarkable journey that has shaped his career. From his unexpected start in showbiz to his numerous awards and contributions to the entertainment world, prepare to be amazed by just how much there is to learn about this legendary actor.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ron Ely, known for playing Tarzan, was also a former Mr. America and starred in the TV series “Sea Hunt,” showcasing his diverse talents and achievements.
  • Despite personal tragedy, Ron Ely’s legacy as Tarzan and his multifaceted career continue to be cherished by fans worldwide, solidifying his status as a Hollywood legend.
Table of Contents

Ron Ely Was Born on June 21, 1938

Ron Ely, the legendary American actor, was born on June 21, 1938, in Hereford, Texas. He started his life in a small town but would go on to achieve great success in the entertainment industry.

Ron Ely Became Famous for His Role as Tarzan

One of the most prominent roles of Ron Ely’s career was playing the iconic character Tarzan in the television series “Tarzan,” which aired from 1966 to His portrayal of the jungle hero captured the hearts of viewers worldwide.

Ron Ely was a Former Mr. America

Before venturing into acting, Ron Ely had a successful career as a bodybuilder. He won the title of Mr. America in 1959, showcasing his incredible strength and physique.

Ron Ely Starred in the Crime Drama Series “Sea Hunt”

Prior to his role as Tarzan, Ron Ely gained recognition for his portrayal of Mike Nelson in the popular television series “Sea Hunt,” which aired from 1961 to The series revolved around underwater adventures and showcased Ely’s versatility as an actor.

Ron Ely Made Numerous Guest Appearances on TV Shows

Throughout his career, Ron Ely made numerous guest appearances on various television shows, including “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” and “The Six Million Dollar Man.” His versatility allowed him to take on a wide range of characters.

Ron Ely Retired from Acting in 2001

After decades of entertaining audiences, Ron Ely decided to retire from acting in Although he stepped away from the spotlight, his contributions to the industry left a lasting impact.

Ron Ely Has Published Several Novels

Aside from his acting career, Ron Ely is also a talented writer. He has published several novels, including “Night Shadows” and “East Beach.

Ron Ely Experienced Tragedy in His Family

In 2019, Ron Ely tragically lost his wife, Valerie Lundeen, after she was fatally stabbed by their son, Cameron Ely. This deeply unfortunate event shocked the public and brought immense sadness to Ron Ely’s life.

Ron Ely Continues to Be Remembered and Celebrated

Despite the hardships he has faced, Ron Ely’s contributions to the entertainment industry and his memorable performances continue to be cherished by fans around the world. His legacy as Tarzan and his multifaceted career will forever be part of Hollywood’s history.


Ron Ely is a talented and intriguing celebrity who has left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. From his iconic role as Tarzan to his successful career as an actor, Ely continues to captivate audiences with his talent and charisma. With his impressive physique and commanding presence, it’s no wonder he became a beloved figure in the world of acting.

When it comes to Ron Ely, there’s more to him than meets the eye. His experiences in Hollywood, his personal life, and his achievements make him a truly fascinating individual. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering his work, exploring these nine fascinating facts about Ron Ely will give you a deeper understanding of the man behind the legend.


1. What is Ron Ely’s most famous role?

Ron Ely’s most famous role is undoubtedly his portrayal of Tarzan in the 1966 television series, “Tarzan.” He became synonymous with the character and his performance garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

2. Has Ron Ely appeared in any other TV shows or movies?

Yes, Ron Ely has appeared in various other TV shows and movies throughout his career. Some notable works include “The Aquanauts,” “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze,” and “Face of the Screaming Werewolf.

3. Is Ron Ely still active in the entertainment industry?

No, Ron Ely has retired from acting and is no longer active in the entertainment industry. However, his contributions to film and television continue to be appreciated by fans around the world.

4. What other talents does Ron Ely possess?

In addition to acting, Ron Ely is also a writer. He has authored two books, “Night Shadows” and “East Beach,” showcasing his talent for storytelling beyond the screen.

5. Did Ron Ely have any notable awards or recognitions?

While Ron Ely did not receive any major awards during his career, his impact on popular culture cannot be denied. He remains an enduring figure in the entertainment industry, beloved by fans worldwide.

Ron Ely's fascinating life story captivates, but there's more to explore. Uncover astounding facts about the iconic Hollywood Sign, revealing its secrets. Journey through classic TV history with Burgess Meredith's captivating tales. Dive into 1960s television and Adam West's unbelievable adventures. Each article offers a unique glimpse into entertainment's rich tapestry, promising to engage and enlighten. Whether you're a fan of Ely, Hollywood landmarks, or vintage television, these stories will transport you to a world of wonder and nostalgia. Click through to discover the hidden gems that await.

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