HolyCoast: Famous Movie Star Dies at 80

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Famous Movie Star Dies at 80

Cheetah the chimpanzee, who acted in classic Tarzan movies in the early 1930s, died of kidney failure Saturday at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, a sanctuary spokeswoman said.

Cheetah was roughly 80 years old, loved fingerpainting and football and was soothed by nondenominational Christian music, said Debbie Cobb, the sanctuary's outreach director.

He was an outgoing chimp who was exposed to the public his whole life, Cobb said today.

"He wasn't a chimp that caused a lot of problems," she said.

Cheetah acted in the 1932-34 Tarzan movies, Cobb said. Movies filmed during that timeframe starred Johnny Weissmuller and include "Tarzan and His Mate" and "Tarzan the Ape Man," according to the Internet Movie Database.

Sometime around 1960, Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate in Ocala, Cobb said.

In the wild, the average chimp survives 25 to 35 years and at zoos chimps typically live 35 to 45 years, she said.
I'm glad nondenominational Christmas music is good for something. It's apparently the Fountain of Youth for chimpanzees.

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