biography

Born Gordon M. Werschkul on August 3, 1926 in Portland, Oregon, actor Gordon Scott was raised in Oregon and attended the University of Oregon for a period. Upon leaving school he went into the service and was honorably discharged in the later 1940s. He then worked at a variety of jobs until 1953, when he was spotted by a talent agent while working as a lifeguard at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel. Due in part to his muscular frame and 6'3" height, he was quickly signed to replace Lex Barker as Tarzan.

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LEFT and CENTER A: Photos of Gordon Scott from 1954. CENTER B: Bert Goodrich, Mr. America 1938, congratulates Scott on becoming the eleventh Tarzan. Goodrich was the first Mr. America. CENTER C: Scott on the September 1955 cover of Strength and Health. RIGHT: Scott lifts weights. You will find more photos like these in the Gordon Scott Gallery page

Scott's first film was RKO's Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955), which also starred Vera Miles. During the making of the film, Miles and Scott began a romance and married in 1956, after the release of the film. Proving to be a successful and popular Tarzan, Scott helped breathe new life into the series. For his second outing, Scott made the first color Tarzan film, Tarzan and the Lost Safari, released in 1957 by MGM. In 1958, Sol Lesser sold Scott's contract to Sy Weintraub; the new producer took his star to Paramount Pictures and, fueled by bigger production budgets, made two of the most successful Tarzan films, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) and Tarzan the Magnificent (1960).

Gordon ScottGordon ScottGordon Scott and Steve ReevesGordon Scott and Brad HarrisGordon Scott and Brad Harris

LEFT and CENTER A: Various beefcake photos. CENTER B: Early 1960s photo of Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves. CENTER C and RIGHT: Gordon Scott goofs on a reporter in Rome with Brad Harris


In 1960, Scott left the role of Tarzan for the greener pastures of sword and sandal films. Jock Mahoney then replaced Scott as Tarzan for two features. After Tarzan, Gordon Scott began expanding his range, doing sword and sandal films, spaghetti westerns (such as The Tramplers), and even spy thrillers (such as Danger!! Death Ray), made mostly in Italy and Spain. Scott became very popular in Europe and made a number of features there, such as Duel of the Titans (1961, with Steve Reeves), Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World (1962), Goliath and the Vampires (1963), and Danger!! Death Ray (1965), which Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will recall as episode #620.

the films of gordon scott

Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955)

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RKO promotional photos of Gordon Scott from Tarzan's Hidden Jungle. The left photo includes Vera Miles (thanks to William Armstrong)

Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957)

Peter Arne, Yolande Donlan, and Gordon ScottYolande Donlan and Gordon ScottGordon ScottGordon Scott

From MGM's Tarzan and the Lost Safari. LEFT: With Peter Arne and Yolande Donlan. CENTER A: With Yolande Donlan. CENTER B. Scott in action. RIGHT: Gordon Scott greets children from the Masai tribe in Africa during location shooting for Tarzan and the Lost Safari. Scott was a big hit with the Masai tribe; a Masai warrior gave him the nickname "Mtu Ule Na Panda Miti Minegu," meaning warrior who climbs tall trees

Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958)

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MGM promotional photos from the thrilling Tarzan's Fight for Life. LEFT and CENTER A: With Eve Brent. CENTER B: Scott as Tarzan. CENTER C: Gordon Scott's real fight for life: the python he is wrestling in these photos nearly strangled him during filming. RIGHT: With Woody Strode

Tarzan and the Trappers (1958)

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From Tarzan and the Trappers. LEFT: With Eve Brent. CENTER: With Eve Brent and Rickie Sorenson. RIGHT: With Rickie Sorenson. Tarzan and the Trappers was much unlike Scott's first three films. The final black-and-white Tarzan film, Trappers is actually an edited version of a pilot and two episodes of a proposed Tarzan TV series. High production costs sank the networks' interest in the series

Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)

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LEFT: From Paramount's Tarzan's Greatest Adventure. RIGHT: With Sara Shane

Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

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Promotional photos from Paramount's Tarzan the Magnificent

Duel of the Titans (1961)

Gordon Scott and Steve ReevesGordon Scott and Steve ReevesGordon ScottGordon Scott

LEFT and CENTER: Gordon Scott as Remus and Steve Reeves as Romulus in the Paramount release Duel of the Titans. RIGHT: When Steve Reeves agreed to star in Duel of the Titans, the producer wanted him to play both Romulus and Remus. Reeves objected, saying that the film would be more effective with another actor in the role of Remus. He recommended Gordon Scott, whom Reeves had known for years. The producers agreed with Reeves, and Scott was given the highest salary he had earned thus far for taking the role

Goliath and the Vampires (1961)

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Scott is the title character in the American International adventure release Goliath and the Vampires

Gladiator of Rome (1962)

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As Marcus in the sword and sandal adventure Gladiator of Rome

Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World (1962)

Gordon ScottGordon ScottYoko Tani and Gordon Scott

LEFT and CENTER: From Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World, released by American International. RIGHT: With co-star Yoko Tani

Kerim, Son of the Sheik (1962)

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LEFT: Gordon Scott bests Gordon Mitchell in a scene from Kerim, Son of the Sheik. CENTER and RIGHT: Two more shots from Kerim, Son of the Sheik

Hercules Against Moloch (1963)

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As title character Hercules in the torch and toga epic Hercules Against Moloch

The Tyrant of Lydia Against the Son Of Hercules (1963)

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From the sword and sandal adventure The Tyrant of Lydia Against the Son Of Hercules

Hero of Rome (1964)

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From Hero of Rome, distributed by Embassy Pictures

Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965)

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Scott with one of the immortal horses in Hercules and the Princess of Troy. This short feature was actually an unsold TV pilot. When ABC declined to pick up the Hercules series, this film was immediately sold into syndication

Buffalo Bill (1965)

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From Scott's first spaghetti western Buffalo Bill

The Tramplers (1966)

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From Embassy's The Tramplers, the latter of Scott's two westerns. LEFT and CENTER: Scott as Lon Cordeen. RIGHT: With James Mitchum

The Mike Douglas Show (1961-1982 Syndicated TV Series)

Johnny Weissmuller, Mike Douglas, Gordon Scott, Totie Fields, Jock Mahoney, Buster Crabbe, Denny Miller, and James Pierce

A 1971 photo of most of the surviving Tarzans from The Mike Douglas Show. Pictured from left to right are: Johnny Weissmuller, Mike Douglas, Gordon Scott, Totie Fields, Jock Mahoney, Buster Crabbe, Denny Miller, and James Pierce (thanks to Dennis McHaney)

later years

Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves

A 1994 photo of Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves in Knoxville, Tennessee
(Copyright 1998 Dennis McHaney. Used by permission)

When peplum began to die as a film genre, Gordon Scott quickly took on other roles, falling back on his cowboy days in two films: Buffalo Bill: Hero of the Far West and The Tramplers. After lensing The Tramplers, Gordon Scott quit acting, left Italy, and never made another film. He passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 30, 2007, following complications from heart surgery at age 80. He is survived by two daughters and a son.

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filmography

FILM
Top Secret (1967)
Danger!! Death Ray (1967) with Alberto Dalbes, Max Dean, and Silvia Solar
The Tramplers (1966) with Joseph Cotten and James Mitchum
Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965) with Diana Hyland, Gordon Mitchell, Roger Browne, and Paul Stevens
Buffalo Bill (1965) with Mario Brega
Hero of Rome (1964) with Massimo Serato and Philippe Hersent
Hercules Against Moloch (1963) with Rosalba Neri and Jany Clair
Coriolanus: Hero Without a Country (1963) with Rosalba Neri, Alberto Lupo, and Philippe Hersent
Hero of Babylon (1963) with Moira Orfei
Goliath and the Rebel Slave (aka The Tyrant of Lydia Against the Son Of Hercules) (1963) with Massimo Serato, Mimmo Palmara, Serge Nubret and Gloria Milland
Zorro and the Three Musketeers (1963) with Jose Greci and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
The Lion of St. Mark (1963) with Rik Battaglia, Gianna Maria Canale, and Alberto Farnese
Gladiator of Rome (1962) with Alberto Farnese and Nando Tamberlani
A Queen for Caesar (1962) with Akim Tamiroff, George Ardisson, and Rik Battaglia
Kerim, Son of the Sheik (1962) with Gordon Mitchell, Moira Orfei, Alberto Farnese, Jany Clair, and Nando Tamberlani
Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World (1962) with Yoko Tani and Dante DiPaolo
Goliath and the Vampires (1961) with Jacques Sernas and Gianna Maria Canale
Duel of the Titans (1961) with Steve Reeves and Virna Lisi
Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) with Jock Mahoney, John Carradine, Lionel Jeffries, Betta St. John, and Harry Baird
Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) with Sean Connery and Anthony Quayle
Tarzan and the Trappers (1958) with Eve Brent, Scatman Crothers, and Rickie Sorensen
Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958) with Eve Brent, Woody Strode, Jil Jarmyn, and Rickie Sorensen
Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957) with Betta St. John
Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955) with Vera Miles, Peter van Eyck, and Jack Elam

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
The Bob Cummings Show, episode Bob Meets Miss Sweden, originally aired April 25, 1957

gordon scott links

The Gordon Scott Tarzan Photo Album
William Armstrong has assembled a Gordon Scott web site, devoted to Scott's Tarzan films. Look for images from Scott's films, as well as publicity photos, Dell comic book covers, and posters, both foreign and domestic.
Mathieu Neyens's 'Tarzan en Jane' Site
The Tarzan en Jane site contains pictures and movie clips of Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O' Sullivan, and there's another page with numerous photos of classic Hollywood film stars, such as Burt Lancaster, Tyrone Power, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Jayne Mansfield, Elvis Presley, and still more! This is a great site by a Tarzan fan.
Matt's Tarzan Movies Guide
Another site for Tarzan fans which includes pages devoted to Bomba, the Jungle Boy and Johnny Weissmuller's Jungle Jim series. (Thanks to Richard Baldwin)

gordon scott film now showing

Watch Gordon Scott's Tarzan film Tarzan and the Trappers

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This page premiered February 1, 1998.