Mike Henry: The Tarzan actor passed away in January

Mike Henry
The Tarzan actor died in January

Mike Henry in 1966 in the movie "Tarzan and the Golden City".

© imago images / Everett Collection

In the 60s he played the jungle hero Tarzan. Now "Variety" reports the death of actor and ex-football star Mike Henry.

In the 1960s, Mike Henry (1936-2021) delighted the cinema audience in three feature films as Tarzan. Now the US industry journal "Variety" reports that the actor, who began his career as a professional athlete, died on January 8th at the age of 84 in Burbank, California.

Henry had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and Parkinson's disease for years. A consequence of his professional football career, during which he first played in the college football league for the University of Southern California (USC) and later in the professional league NFL as linebacker.

Between 1958 and 1961, the star was on the pitch for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He later moved to the Los Angeles Rams to work on his acting career on the side. In one of his last games he was discovered by a film producer and then auditioned for the lead role as Tarzan.

He played alongside Burt Reynolds in "A Boiled Rascal"

With success. Henry played the character three times in total: in "Tarzan and the Golden City" (1966), "Tarzan at the Great River" (1967) and "Tarzan and the Jungle Boy" (1968). His best-known role, however, is that of Henry Justice, called Junior, in the films in the series "Ein auskochtes Schlitzohr" with Burt Reynolds (1936-2018). He played it three times in total.

Other films in which the Californian was seen are "The Green Devils" (1968), "… the year 2022 … who want to survive" (1973) and "The hardest mile" (1974). He also played occasionally in TV productions, for example in the series "General Hospital".

Henry had retired in 1988 due to his progressive Parkinson's disease. He leaves behind his wife, Cheryl Sweeney Henry, to whom he was married for 36 years, and his daughter Shannon Noble.