Suspect Shot and Killed After Woman Found Dead at Home of Tarzan Actor Ron Ely

tarzan ron ely

Ron Ely as Tarzan (By NBC Television – ebayfrontreleaseback, Public Domain, Link)

UPDATE: Various media reports indicate that Ely’s 62-year-old wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, was stabbed to death by her 30-year-old son Cameron who was subsequently shot to death by responding Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies.


There’s a lot that still isn’t known about this situation, but according to . . .

Officers responded to a report of a family disturbance at the home of actor Ron Ely on the 4100 block of Mariposa in Hope Ranch after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Police say an elderly female was found dead upon officer arrival.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office ordered a neighborhood lock-down within a one-mile radius of the home.

Deputies found the suspect after a search of the property.

Police say the suspect presented a threat and deputies opened fire, killing the suspect.

As the AP reports . . .

The 81-year-old Ely played the title character on the NBC series “Tarzan,” which ran from 1966 to 1968.

The tall, musclebound Ely was not quite as well-known as Johnny Weismuller, the Olympic swimmer who played the role in movies in the 1930s and 40s, but formed the image of the shirtless, loincloth-wearing character remembered by many in the baby-boom generation. Tarzan was a fictional character raised in the African jungle.

Ely also played the title character in the 1975 action film “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze,” but otherwise had mostly small roles in TV and films including the 1958 movie musical “South Pacific.”

Ely was host of the Miss America pageant in 1980 and 1981 and married a former Miss Florida, Valerie Lundeen, with whom he had three children.


  1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “Man of Bronze” haven’t heard that in awhile.

    1. avatar Carl B. says:

      That’s Fernando Lamas looking marvelous holding the Thompson.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Musclebound😄😋😏…hardly. Annnnd this is pretty much fluff/filler.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      How dare you Sir! Did you not observe the Thompson in the attached photo? Ingrate!

      1. avatar Imayeti says:

        Don’t Thompsons usually have an ammo drum?

        1. avatar Newshawk says:

          No, they also used stick magazines. Thompson drum magazines were notoriously unreliable–a trait they share with many modern drums.

        2. avatar Someone says:

          WWII M1 submachine guns (one of which seems to be pictured above) were issued with box magazines.

        3. avatar Southern Cross says:

          There’s a charging knob on the top, so it is a M1921 or M1928. The M1 and M1A1 had the charging handle on the right side.

    2. avatar RGP says:

      In the 1960’s, that’s about as big as muscle heads got.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Yep, no steroids or performance-enhancing drugs. Most professional sports now are nothing but drug addict freak shows, with zero true sportsmanship.


  3. avatar RGP says:

    Well I was going to point out that he was also Doc Savage in one of the greatest films of all time but the article did mention that film, so…

    1. avatar James W Crawford says:

      The film does star Pamela Hemsley and Robin Hilton. Of course neither can stack up to Joy Harmon, Pam Grier, Adrienne Barbour or Jane Mansfield.

  4. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    Appears though not anywhere in the above, Ely’s son killed his mother.

    1. avatar Jim from LI says:

      Odd, Wikipedia already has the details.

  5. avatar Jim from LI says:

    Really tragic and sad story. I wasn’t even aware Ron Ely was still alive; he dropped off the radar completely.

  6. So, The police shot down the original Tarzan!?!? Or was this a home invasion/robbery gone bad!?!?

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      You know, you should actually read the article if you’re wondering what happened.

      The article states quite clearly that Ron’s wife was killed by her son, Cameron. Then after a brief search Cameron was shot by responding officers.

  7. avatar JDH says:

    His son stabbed his wife to death, the police shot him to death. Ely is evidently alive..

  8. avatar thebronze says:

    Reading Is Fundamental

  9. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Crystal meth??? Waiting for the toxicology report.
    So legalizing drugs will stop the violence associated with selling or using drugs???
    A Libertarian wishful fantasy. Libertarians will also tell you driving under the influence of marijuana is not a problem. They have been saying that in Colorado and Washington State for years now. The words “personal responsibility” and “accountability” are not part of the Libertarian lexicon when it comes to drug use.

    Abolish Drunk Driving Laws

    I do agree with them on one issue. The Federal government should stay out of how the states regulate drug, legal or illegal, enforcement laws.

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