Hollywood likes nothing better than a good comeback — case in point — Cheeta, the 76-year-old Liberian chimpanzee co-star of the Tarzan series.
Cheeta has just signed a record, DVD and book memoir deal after a four-decade hiatus.
Cheeta last film role was 1967’s Dr. Doolittle with Rex Harrison and he’s been honored as the world’s oldest chimpanzee by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records.
His first appearance in a Tarzan film however was as the son of the first Cheeta in Tarzan and His Mate.
Despite battling Type 2 Diabetes for the past nine years, Cheeta is in pretty good shape for a primate his years.
His handler and caregiver, Dan Westphall, revealed Cheeta has had a long marriage, fathering one child. In retirement, the simian enjoys watching TV and doing abstract paintings which are auctioned to benefit primate charities.
Cheeta’s new single available from iTunes is a cover of the 1976 country-music tuner "Convoy" which will be released in conjunction with his DVD.
His forthcoming tell-all tome is entitled Me, Cheeta!
Despite starring in twelve Tarzan jungle pics as well as the titular star of Bedtime for Bonzo (his co-star being Ronald Reagan) the graying Cheeta has tried and failed seven times to get a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Maybe Tarzan should initiate a grass roots letter writing campaign — that or gather his elephants for one final stampede in the name of jungle justice.