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Bruce Bennett Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 19 May 1906Tacoma, Washington, USA
Date of Death 24 February 2007Santa Monica, California, USA  (complications from a broken hip)
Birth NameHarold Herman Brix
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Herman Brix was a star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics. After losing the lead in MGM's Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) due to a shoulder injury, he was contracted by Ashton Dearholt for his independent production of The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935), a serial and the only Tarzan film between the silents and the 1960s to present the character accurately, as a sophisticated, educated English nobleman who preferred living in the jungle and was able to speak directly with animals in their own language. He subsequently found himself typecast and confined to starring roles in other serials and character and even bit parts in poverty row features and two-reeler comedies. After starring in the Republic Pictures serial Hawk of the Wilderness (1938) as the Tarzan-like Kioga, he dropped out of films for a few years, took acting lessons, and changed his name to Bruce Bennett. He made many movies after that, gaining fame as a leading man in many Warners products. In 1960, he retired from acting and went into business, becoming sales manager of a major vending machine company, making only occasional TV guest appearances. A reclusive man, he eschewed interviews, although he did appear at one Burroughs-oriented convention in the 1970s and discussed some of his experiences during the making of his Tarzan serial. In 2001, he allowed himself to be interviewed for a slender biography by a Mike Chapman, and held signings at local bookstores, enjoying his "rediscovery" by the general public in the few years remaining before his death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (1)

Jeannette C. Braddock (21 January 1933 - 30 June 2000) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (14)

He won a silver medal in the 1928 Olympics for the shot put.
He attended the "Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show" at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, in North Hollywood, California.
Brix was MGM's choice to play Tarzan in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) but lost the role when he suffered a separated shoulder from a tackle in the sports film Touchdown (1931). Johnny Weissmuller became a big star when he won the role. Bruce recuperated and did get to play "Tarzan" in the low-budget indie serial The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935).
His father was a lumber man who owned a couple of different logging camps. Bruce built up his physique working in these lumber camps as a youth.
Retired from acting in the '60s and became commercially employed.
He enjoyed parasailing and skydiving, leaping out 10,000 feet over Lake Tahoe when he was 96.
Lost out at Warner Bros. to test for stronger acting roles because he was too identified as "Herman Brix, former Tarzan and all-around action star." He went into hiding for a time, studied, then won a Columbia Pictures contract and eventually a Warner Bros. contract as Bruce Bennett.
Had two children, Christopher and Christina, by longtime wife Jeannette, who died in 2000. They named their children after his parents, but ironically, Christopher and Christina were also the names of the two eldest children of his "Mildred Pierce" co-star, Joan Crawford.
A onetime University of Washington football and track-and-field star, he played in the 1926 Rose Bowl as tackle for the Huskies. He graduated in 1928 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Moved to Los Angeles in 1929 after being invited to compete for the Los Angeles Athletic Club and became friends with actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who arranged a screen test for him at Paramount.
Broke his shoulder while filming Touchdown (1931), which cost him the role of MGM's Tarzan, which went to Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. The injury also caused him to fail to qualify for the 1932 Olympic trials while holding the world record for shot put.
Was father to Christopher Brix and Christina Katich; had three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Was the fourth born in a family of five children of an immigrant couple from Germany. His eldest brother and father's favored son, Hermann, died before his birth and was given his middle name in this child's memory. To please his father, by high-school he had discontinued using his own first name, Harold, in favor of his middle name, Herman.
Urban legend has it that Brix was personally selected by _Edgar Rice Burroughs_ to play Tarzan in the independent serial The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935). In fact, this notion came from publicity material in the serial''s pressbook. As he told his biographer, Mike Chapman, he only met Burroughs briefly, for a handshake and photo-op, days after he had been chosen and contracted for the part by the serial's producer, _Ashton Dearholt_.

Personal Quotes (2)

[About his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)] I wish I would have had more to do in the film. I hated to get killed so soon.
[In a 1988 interview] I feel very sincerely that age isn't computable by number of years. It is truly only a state of mind. We know many young people of 90 and old people of 20. By my mind, I'm still young!

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