The wife of Tarzan and Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze actor Ron Ely was found stabbed to death in their Southern California home on Tuesday. The suspect, the couple's 30-year-old son Cameron Ely, was fatally shot by responding authorities outside the family home after a search of the property. According to the Associated Press, sheriff's deputies were first summoned to the home by a 911 call shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Per the report, deputies found 62-year-old Valerie Lundeen Ely dead from multiple stab wounds. According to authorities, Cameron posed an unspecified threat to the deputies and was killed after four of them opened fire. There were no reports of Ron Ely being injured in the events, though a previous sheriff's statement noted that an elderly man at the home had been taken to the hospital for evaluation. It remains unclear if Ely was home at the time of the incident. According to the sheriff's office, the officers involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Ely is best known for his role as Tarzan in the 1966 NBC series of the same name. That series ran for two seasons on the network. He also played the lead role of Doc Savage in 1975's Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. The Doc Savage character first appeared in pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s and was credited by iconic Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee as being the forerunner to modern superheroes.1comments
In addition to his work on Tarzan and in Doc Savage, Ely was also the host of the Miss America pageant in 1980 and in 1981. He would later marry Valerie Lundeen, a former Miss Florida USA, and the couple had three children, including Cameron. Ely also has credits for recurring or guest roles in several other television series, including The Love Boat and Wonder Woman before he retired from acting in 2001, save for an appearance in a television movie in 2014.
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