|Actress Maureen O'Sullivan and Cheetah.|
Cheetah, the chimpanzee who starred in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s, has died at the age of 80 ... The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbour, Florida, said Cheetah died of kidney failure on Dec 24, 2011. Debbie Cobb, director of the sanctuary, said that in his retirement the chimp had loved finger painting and seemed particularly attuned to human feelings. He came to the sanctuary from the estate of the star of the Tarzan series - American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller - during the early 1960s.
Based on the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Tarzan stories - which have spawned scores of books and films - chronicle the adventures of a man who was raised by apes in Africa. Cheetah provided comic relief in the Tarzan films, often clowning around with his human co-stars.