Tarzan's Old Pal Enjoys His Retirement

At 76, Tarzan co-star keeping busy with painting, TV
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2008 12:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – Cheeta the chimp is enjoying a fairly humdrum retirement after his glittering showbiz career, Entertainment Weekly reports. Cheeta, at 76 the world's oldest domesticated simian, was plucked from the jungles of Africa as a baby and starred in the '30s Tarzan movies. An "autobiography"—more of a Hollywood spoof, called Me Cheeta—tells the tale of the former star, who now spends his days pottering around his Florida home painting and watching TV.

Interest in Cheeta has stayed high over the years, said his trainer and companion, Dan Westfall. Orders for the chimp's paintings have come from around the world and a Cheeta cover of '70s hit Convoy is in the works. He may be a little too old to leap swiftly into action at the shot of "Ungawa,'' but Westfall says the elderly primate still hoots when he sees his youthful self on TV.