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Gordon Scott Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 3 August 1926Portland, Oregon, USA
Date of Death 30 April 2007Baltimore, Maryland, USA  (complications from heart surgery)
Birth NameGordon Merrill Werschkul
Nickname Pete
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Physical Education major Gordon Weschkul left the University of Oregon after one term. He became an infantry drill instructor (rifle, pistol and bayonet; judo and hand-to-hand combat; close order drill), then a military policeman. After his honorable discharge in 1947, he was a fireman, cowboy, and farm machinery salesman. In 1953, a Las Vegas lifeguard, he was spotted by a pair of Hollywood agents who introduced him and his 19-inch biceps to Sol Lesser, who had already conducted 200 tests in search of a new Tarzan. The producer gave him a seven-year contract and a new last name. His three MGM Tarzans were run-of-the mill, but his two for Sy Weintraub, through Paramount, marked a rebirth of the Tarzan character. The movies were well received. Weintraub was looking for a leaner, more thoughtful Tarzan so Scott moved on to a number of Italian strong-man spectaculars and spaghetti westerns, becoming a sensation in Europe.

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

American actor and body-builder whose greatest claim to fame was his role as the movies' eleventh (and some say best) Tarzan. Scott was born Gordon Merrill Werschkul in Portland, Oregon, one of nine children of advertising man Stanley Werschkul and his wife Alice. He grew up in Oregon, where he discovered body-building, which he took up in order, he said, to attract women. He attended the University of Oregon for one semester. Drafted into the United States Army in 1944, he served as a military policeman and drill instructor and was honorably discharged in 1947. For the next six or seven years, he worked at various jobs, mostly delivering soda pop for the beverage company owned by his brother Rafield. An offer of a job as a lifeguard at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel led him to leave his delivery job. Soon thereafter, a Hollywood talent scout took note of him and signed him to a contract with Sol Lesser, producer of the Tarzan movies. His handsome features, muscular physique, and imposing height made him an excellent choice to replace Lex Barker as Tarzan, and he won out over 200 candidates for the role. It was Lesser who changed his name from Werschkul to Scott. Scott's Tarzan films ranged from rather cheap re-edited television pilots to larger scale epics. Two of them, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) and Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) are generally considered to be among the very best Tarzan films ever made. Scott's (and his writers') particular gifts to the series included returning Tarzan to his former status as a literate, well-spoken character. Following his departure from the Tarzan films, he moved to Italy and became a popular star of what were known as "sword and sandal" epics, featuring handsome body-builders as various characters from Greek and Roman myth. Scott was a friend of Hercules star Steve Reeves, and collaborated with him as Remus to Reeves's Romulus in Duel of the Titans (1961). Scott also played such mythic heroes as Goliath, Zorro, and Buffalo Bill in various low-budget productions during the mid-1960s. His final film appearance, apparently, was in The Tramplers (1965), aka "The Tramplers," filmed in 1966, released in the U. S. in 1968. Scott was married apparently three times, including once to his Tarzan co-star, actress Vera Miles, from 1954 to 1959. He had one child (with Miles) and possibly several more children. For the last two decades of his life, he was a popular guest at film conventions and autograph shows. His manner of making a living the last forty years of his life is unclear, for aside from autograph shows and selling occasional souvenir knives, he does not seem to have been employed. He spent much of his final years living with fans who remembered him from his Tarzan days. Scott died on April 30, 2007, in Baltimore, Maryland at Johns Hopkins Hospital of lingering complications from multiple heart surgeries earlier in the year. Estranged from his family, he was survived by two sisters and a brother, none of whom had seen him in years.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (1)

Vera Miles (14 April 1956 - 2 March 1960) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (12)

He was a friend of Hercules actor Steve Reeves. It was Reeves' idea for him to play Remus opposite his Romulus in Duel of the Titans (1961) (aka "Duel of the Titans").
Son Michael Scott born in 1957.
Married three times.
In 1957, he appeared on the TV show, You Bet Your Life (1950). Host Groucho Marx jokingly called him, "Great Scott".
His prior experience on a half dozen Tarzan movies made him one of the few stars of the Italian produced sword and sandal/mythological muscleman movies to be praised for this acting talent as well as his physique.
He was to be the star of the proposed television series "Hercules" in which he would be the title character. A pilot episode, Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965), was filmed but the series didn't sell.
Has one living brother named Rafield Werschkul of Portland, Oregan.
Was a lifeguard at the Saraha Hotel in Las Vegas when he was discovered by Hollywood producer Sol Lesser.
Spent his final 6 years living as a 'guest' in the spare bedroom of one of his fans in Baltimore, Maryland.
At the height of his Tarzan/gladiator fame, Scott was a mighty 6' 3", 218 pounds and had 19-inch biceps.
Ex-stepfather of Kelley Miles and Debra Miles.
He played Tarzan in six films, more than anyone except for Johnny Weissmuller, who played the role in twelve films.

Personal Quotes (2)

Being an actor is one thing I never thought about doing, but once you're in it, it spoils you for anything else if you're successful at it. The money's so easy, you meet beautiful people. My God, that's the ideal situation - kind of a fantasy world. It's the best way to travel too. First class, and you get to see a lot of interesting places.
Tarzan was ideal for me because I didn't have too much dialogue.

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