03:28 PM EDT 12/22/2014
Originally posted 12/28/2011 09:50AM
Cheetah, a chimpanzee who starred alongside Tarzan in the franchise films of the early 1930s, died Saturday. He had experienced kidney failure earlier that week, and was thought to be 80 years old.
Cheetah, also known as Cheetah-Mike, acted as Tarzan's comic sidekick "Cheeta" and was one of several chimpanzees who appeared in the films of 1932 to 1934, with Johnny Weissmuller in the starring role.
Around 1960, after living on Weissmuller's estate, Cheetah retired to Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla.
"It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member," the sanctuary announced this week on its website. Chimpanzees live an average of 45 years in the wild, and captive chimps have an average lifespan of 60 years.
Originally posted 06/20/2008 02:15PM
Tinkerbell has topped more than 200 applicants – including Tarzan's faithful companion, Cheetah – for a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame.
"There was a big campaign for Cheetah but it just didn't happen," a spokesperson for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce tells PEOPLE. "He is welcome to apply again next year."
Peter Pan's pixie pal becomes the fifth animated character to earn a place on the city sidewalk, joining such fellow Disney all-stars as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh and Snow White.
Other 2009 inductees will include Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz, Ralph Fiennes and the Village People.
– Oliver Jones
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