Gordon Scott (August 3, 1926 - April 30, 2007) was an American actor known for his portrayal of Tarzan in five films (and one compilation of three made-as-a-pilot television episodes) from 1955 to 1960.
Scott was born Gordon Merrill Werschkul in Portland, Oregon, one of nine children of advertising man Stanley Werschkul and his wife Alice. Scott was raised in Oregon and attended the University of Oregon for one semester. Upon leaving school, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1944 serving as a drill sergeant and military policeman until he was honorably discharged in 1947. 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 by producer Sol Lesser. Lesser had Gordon change his name as "Werschkul" sounded too much like "Weismueller". Scott's Tarzan films ranged from rather cheap re-edited television pilots to larger scale epics.
Fearing his typecasting as Tarzan, he moved to Italy and became a popular star of what were known as "sword and sandal" epics, featuring handsome