September 8, 1966 – April 5, 1968
(57) one hour episodes (2 seasons)
in Color on NBC
Created by: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Produced by: Sy Weintraub


  • Tarzan ….. Ron Ely
  • Jai …….. Manuel Padilla, Jr.
  • Sergeant … Charles Wood
  • Rao …….. Rockne Tarkington
  • Tabor …… Virgil Richardson


Opening Theme

“March of Tarzan (Theme of Tarzan)”
Composed by: Walter W. Greene and Sydney Lee


Tarzan (Ron Ely) was raised in the jungle but left to get his education. After a while he tired of mans inhumanity to man and opted for a return to the simpler jungle life. Simple but not without it’s own style of bad guy including poachers and those who would take advantage of the local inhabitants.

Aided in his day to day heroic deeds by Jai (Manuel Padilla, Jr.) a native boy whom he sort of adopts and Cheetah his faithful companion chimpanzee.
Also appearing from time to time to lend a helping hand are Sergeant (Charles Wood), Rao (Rockne Tarkington) and Tabor (Virgil Richardson). Julie Harris was about the only female cast member appearing as Charity Jones in a few episodes.

To add realism Sy Weintraub filmed a couple of Tarzan motion pictures in Brazil so he also started shooting the television series there. Brazil turned out to be to difficult for regular series filming so the production was moved to a studio in Mexico. Clips from the original filming in Brazil were often used to augment the studio shots.

Video Clip of Tarzan


Manuel Padilla, Jr. died in 2008, he was only 52 years old


Tarzan had many guest stars but one stand out was in the 1968 episode “The Convert” when Diana Ross and the Supremes appeared as three nuns who needed Tarzan’s help.
Also in that episode was James Earl Jones as a tribal chief.

Tarzan - 1960s adventure show