Cheeta The 76-year-old star of the vintage “Tarzan” flicks just can’t get any respect. A respected artist — we’re not kidding! — Cheeta was recently denied a star once again on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though the fictional character Tinker Belle will be getting one. Born in the wild in Liberia, Cheeta made his film debut in 1934’s “Tarzan and His Mate” with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’ Sullivan as a young chimp riding on the back of the original animal playing Cheeta. He took over the role at the ripe old age of 4 in 1936’s “Tarzan Escapes.” He made 12 "Tarzan" films. His last film appearance was as Chee-Chee in 1967’s “Doctor Dolittle.” He lives in Palm Springs at the Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes (CHEETA), where he watches TV and paints. He is the oldest nonhuman primate listed in the Guinness World Records. His autobiography, “Me Cheeta,” is set for publication this year.
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