The chimpanzee "Cheeta," who allegedly played Tarzan's sidekick in the films from the 1930s, died at 80 on Saturday at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Florida after suffering kidney failure earlier in the week.
The chimp provided comic relief to the late Johnny Weissmuller in later jungle films films as Tarzan's New York Adventure, and Tarzan's Desdert Mystery. This son of Cheeta was the 2nd chimp to appear in the jungle films. When the series moved over to RKO, MGM loaned Cheeta out as well.
Cheeta had reportedly lived on Weissmuller's estate until 1960, when he moved into the sanctuary.
"It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member," Suncoast said in a statement.
Debbie Cobb, an outreach director with the sanctuary, told Tampa Tribune the chimp was very compassionate and in tune to human feelings.
"He could tell if I was having a good day or a bad day — me was always trying to get me to laugh if he thought I was having a bad day. He was very in tune to human feelings.
"He wasn't a chimp that caused a lot of problems."
But reportedly, when Cheeta didn't like what was occuring, feces would be flung.
Mia Farrow, the daughter of Maureen O'Sullivan, reacted to the primate's passing on her Twitter account.
"My mom, Tarzan's Jane, referred to Cheetah-the-chimp as 'that bastard,'" she wrote, "saying he bit her at every opportunity."
And The Washington Post reported that this chimp was only 45 years old not 80 according to an analysis by famed Dr. Jane Goodall, and was in all likelihood not THE Cheeta from the 1930s, the newspaper contended.