Johann Peter Weissmuller was born in Freidorf, Banat, Austria-Hungry (now known as Romania). He was a sickly and, on the advice of a doctor, took up swimming. It definitely paid off because as a 6’3”, 190 pound champion swimmer he won 5 Olympic gold medals, one bronze medal, fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. He retired from swimming with an unbeaten Amateur record.
Johnny Weissmuller is considered to be the quintessential portrayer of Tarzan. He appeared in twelve Tarzan films including Tarzan the Ape Man, Tarzan and His Mate, Tarzan Finds a Son!, Tarzan’s New York Adventure, and Tarzan and the Mermaids. After leaving the role of “Tarzan” Weissmuller took on the character of “Jungle Jim’ Jungle Jim started as a newspaper comic strip and then as a radio series before becoming a film series. In all, Weissmuller starred in thirteen “Jungle Jim’ films and a season on the television series.
Johnny Weissmuller said, “I have always been vitally interested in physical condition. I have long believed that athletic competition among people and nations should replace violence and wars.” That’s a terrific idea! Too bad it will never happen