ERBzine News: Herman Brix dies at 100 ~ Louisville Life: Denny Miller ~ George McWhorter
- ERBzine News
Herman Brix dies at 100
LA Times ~ February 28, 2007
Herman Brix, who parlayed a silver medal for the shot put in the 1928 Olympics into a Hollywood career that included playing Tarzan in a 1935 movie, has died. He was 100. Brix, who later adopted the stage name Bruce Bennett and appeared as Joan Crawford's husband in "Mildred Pierce" and as an ill-fated gold prospector in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," died of complications from a broken hip Saturday at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, his son Christopher said Tuesday. A former University of Washington football and track and field star who played in the 1926 Rose Bowl, Brix moved to Los Angeles in 1929 after being invited to compete for the Los Angeles Athletic Club. He became friends with actor Douglas Fairbanks, who arranged a screen test for the handsome young athlete at Paramount. But while playing a small role as a running back in the 1931 Paramount college football movie "Touchdown," Brix broke a shoulder. The injury caused the world record-setting shot-putter to fail to qualify for the 1932 Olympic trials. It also ended his chance to play Tarzan at MGM, where he is said to have been the studio's leading candidate for the role. Instead, the star-making role in MGM's 1932 hit "Tarzan the Ape Man" went to Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to appear in a string of Tarzan movies.
But two years later, Brix got his chance to play the jungle hero in "The New Adventures of Tarzan," which was produced by an independent film company whose principals included Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs. In fact, Brix was picked by Burroughs to star in the 1935 movie. "Herman Brix brought a presence to the screen that many people feel personifies the Tarzan of the books," Danton Burroughs, Edgar Rice Burroughs' grandson, wrote in the foreword to "Please Don't Call Me Tarzan: The Life Story of Herman Brix/Bruce Bennett," a 2001 book by Mike Chapman. Brix, Burroughs wrote, "was lean and muscular, articulate and dignified. He moved with the superb athletic grace that my grandfather envisioned . and played the role to perfection."
Jeannette, Brix's wife of 67 years, died in 2000. In addition to his son, he is survived by his daughter, Christina Katich; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be sent to the Olympic Committee, National Headquarters, 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. Services will be private. More>>>
Louisville Life meets Denny Miller and the McWhorter ERB Collection
Louisville Life ~ February 26 , 2007
The star of the 1959 version of Tarzan , Bloomington, Ind. , native Denny Miller talks about his 50 years in Hollywood, followed by a peep into one of the world's largest collections of Tarzan memorabilia on the next edition of Louisville Life . Hosted by Candyce Clifft, the program airs Thursday, March 15 at 7:30/6:30 p.m. CT. Actor Denny Miller has spent five decades appearing on popular television series such as "The Rifleman," "Wagon Train," "The Fugitive," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Fantasy Island," "Murder, She Wrote," "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and scores of others--many of them Westerns. In 1959, at the outset of his career, he captured the starring role in the theatrical release Tarzan, The Ape Man . In this segment, Miller talks about his days as Tarzan as well as his connection to former University of Louisville coach Denny Crum, a close friend since the days the two played basketball together at UCLA.
Next, the program looks at one of the premier collections of Tarzan memorabilia and pays a visit to a unique and little-known collection in the University of Louisville photographic archives.
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