Cheetah, the chimpanzee who starred alongside Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan and His Mate” and “Tarzan the Ape Man” in 1932 and 1934, died on Saturday after suffering from Kidney failure at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, FL. After leading a long life filled with filming the Tarzan movies and touching the lives of many, Cheetah passed away at the age of 80.
According to Debbie Cobb, the sanctuary’s outreach director, Cheetah spent the last years of his life at the sanctuary painting, watching football, and listening to Christian music. Throughout his stay at the sanctuary, Cheetah was known to brighten the days of the staff and visitors through his antics. On the sanctuary’s website, fans of Cheetah are posting their memories of Cheetah and mourning his passing, leaving loving words and kind goodbyes.
Mia Farrow, the daughter of Maureen O’Sullivan, posted to her twitter account: “Cheetah the chimp in Tarzan movies died this week at 80. My mom, who played Jane, invariably referred to Cheetah as ‘that bastard.’”