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Cheetah the 'Tarzan' Chimp

Dead at 80(ish)

12/28/2011 8:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Cheetah the Tarzan ChimpCheetah the chimpanzee -- who reportedly played Johnny Weissmuller's sidekick in the 1930s "Tarzan" films -- passed on to the great jungle in the sky last week after suffering kidney failure ... this according to the primate sanctuary that he called home.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Florida -- where Cheetah had been living since the 1960s -- made the announcement, saying, "It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member."

Cheetah was believed to be 80 years old.

41 COMMENTS

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1.

Carl    

I am sadder to hear of his death than I would be to hear of the death of most of the people you regularly feature on TMZ (Lindsay, Kim, Jersey Shore cast, etc.).

969 days ago
2.

mildly insane    

I cant believe he lasted this long he must have been well
cared for

969 days ago
3.

rini6    

Little guy outlived his costars....

An article in the NYTimes says that his female costar called him "that bastard." :-)
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/cheetah-chimpanzee-in-tarzan-movies-has-died/?hp

969 days ago
4.

Amy    

Wow...I had no idea they lived that long! I loved that monkey!

969 days ago
5.

Gordon    

So who is the chimp out in Palm Springs who is also claimed to be Cheetah?

969 days ago
6.

jusket    

Lie of the Jungle: The Truth About Cheeta the Chimpanzee
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112500939.html

969 days ago
7.

Spencer B in MD    

Sorry folks - This has been debunked. This was not "Cheeta". A reporter from the Washington Post checked the provenance of this story around 5 years ago and this chimpanzee was shown to not be Cheeta. the only reason they thought this was Cheeta is because the animal handler who gave them the chimpanzee told them it was (and he was shown to exaggerate stories about his animals for attention). Google for the story and make up your own minds..

969 days ago
8.

Jay     

I would say Cheetah should get a star.

More deserving than the othe apes on the walk

969 days ago
9.

the real diva    

sad at least he lived a long life.

969 days ago
10.

CLINT    

Sad day in the ape world. The chimps have lost their king. During filming, every time Tarzan would show up Cheetah would get a boner, so they had to outfit him with a furry loincloth. And he hated Jane. So I would have to say that Cheetah was the first out of the closet actor. True story.

969 days ago
11.

HARRY NIPPLES, Jr.    

Cheetah is gone, but Lohan and Kardassian live? The whole world is upside down.

969 days ago
12.

sav    

yeah, about that... you may wanna read this article first.. just sayin... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112500939_2.html?hpid=features1&hpv=national

969 days ago
13.

Tim    

All i can say is....."Ungawa"..........

969 days ago
14.

M240guy    

Not the same Chimp. The claim that this animal was the original was debunked years ago.

969 days ago
15.

notalawyer    

I find it preposterous that TMZ team of crack reporters and “spellers”would report on anything that is of questionable authentication.

969 days ago
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