My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) - News Poster

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Tarzan Chimp Cheeta Dies at 80, or Most Likely Not

Maureen O'Sullivan (Jane), Cheeta, Johnny Weismuller (Tarzan): MGM in the '30s Cheeta, Tarzan's chimp in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) and Tarzan and His Mate (1934), died of kidney failure during the week of December 19 according to Florida's Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. Sad news — and curious news as well. The Associated Press reports that chimps in captivity live between 40 and 60 years. Cheeta, oftentimes spelled as Cheetah, would have been 80. Also, more than one chimp played Cheeta in the various Tarzan movies. One of those, known as either Jiggs or Mr. Jiggs, is supposed to have died of pneumonia at a very young age in 1938, the year he co-starred with Dorothy Lamour in Her Jungle Love. (Actually, Ray Milland, not Jiggs, was Lamour's paramour in that movie.) And finally, according to Suncoast's outreach director Debbie Cobb, MGM's Tarzan Johnny Weismuller donated Cheeta to the sanctuary back in 1960. But did olympic swimmer Weismuller
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