Tarzan actor’s wife murdered at their California home

By Alexandra Heilbron on October 16, 2019 | 21 Comments

Tarzan star Ron Ely in Doc Savage: copyright Warner Bros.According to a police report released earlier today, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at the home of actor Ron Ely and his wife Valerie Ely in the 4100 block of Mariposa in the exclusive Hope Ranch community at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ely was the star of the TV series Tarzan (1966 to 1968) and worked steadily as an actor until 1996, when he took a break to raise his three young children with his second wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, a former Miss Florida.

Valerie, 62, was found dead from multiple stab wounds. Police discovered the suspect — Ron and Valerie’s son Cameron — outside the home, on the property. He posed a threat and in response, four deputies fired shots at him, fatally wounding him.

Ron and Valerie Ely Facebook photoRon, 81, who suffers from a speech impediment due to a medical condition, was taken to the hospital for evaluation. According to CNN, he was uninjured and was able to tell police when they arrived on scene that Cameron “was involved in the stabbing.”

Cameron, 30, lived with his parents, who are pictured here in a photo from Ron Ely’s Facebook page. Cameron attended Harvard University and was a quarterback on the Harvard football team. In a 2007 article in the school’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson, he was described as “6’5 quarterback Cameron Ely, a California native from Exeter who sports the conventional Harvard-recruited stats: a GPA above 4.0, questionable arm strength and supreme intelligence to go along with his ability to make ‘good decisions,’ according to prominent recruiting Web site Scout.com.”

Ron Ely came out of retirement in 2014 to play a small role in the Lifetime channel TV movie Expecting Amish.

Ron and Valerie, who were married for 35 years, also have two daughters — Kirsten and Kaitland. ~Alexandra Heilbron

Comments & Discussion

  1. Jason • October 16, 2019 @ 5:54 PM

    That’s such sad news for Ron. I wonder if his son had a mental illness.

  2. Lillian • October 17, 2019 @ 4:09 AM

    I’m in shock! I remember him playing Tarzan, so incredibly tragic! What could possibly have happened for their son to do such a horrific thing! Poor Ron Ely!

  3. Lee Mac • October 17, 2019 @ 9:29 AM

    could have been Pelosi ?
    she was reportedly going ” Crazy ” at the WH LoL

  4. J • October 17, 2019 @ 12:33 PM

    To Lee Mac, that is a stupid thing to say. Making light of someone’s tragedy. Not funny.

  5. Robyn • October 17, 2019 @ 12:35 PM

    Lee Mac, you shouldn’t have posted that. Someone died and you tried to make a joke? Think harder next time and don’t post.

  6. Michele • October 17, 2019 @ 12:46 PM

    Lee Mac…..shame on you.

  7. mandy • October 17, 2019 @ 12:57 PM

    he must have gotten a head injury playing football, so sad

  8. Chris • October 17, 2019 @ 12:59 PM

    Horrible circumstances. Losing his wife & his son in one evening. Very sad

  9. Cathy Langille • October 17, 2019 @ 1:17 PM

    Condolences to the Ely family and their friends as you come to terms with this terrible tragedy. C

  10. Shelley Kapach • October 17, 2019 @ 1:44 PM

    Lee Mac, you are what is wrong with America. Kindness should prevail, but there is none left in the USA.

  11. Jeannieb62 • October 17, 2019 @ 2:26 PM

    @Shelley Kapach, notice all of the responses to the idiot Lee Mac. Thanks to the best of people like them and YOU, kindness did prevail. Let’s not give up hope.

  12. TeeDee • October 17, 2019 @ 5:37 PM

    How truly sad for the remaining family members to lose 2 ppl in one tragedy. I also wonder about acute brain injuries that happen in football, but who knows? There can be many causes of mental illness. Condolences to family and friends..

  13. Carol S. • October 17, 2019 @ 6:19 PM

    Ron Ely & Family,
    I wish to send my deepest condolences to you all on this tragedy. I cannot imagine what you are having to endure. Your family deserves dignity and privacy.
    May others respect you wishes as you grieve and come to terms with such a huge loss. May close friends reach out to assist you in any way that is needed.
    Please ignore the rudeness of people that give unflattering comments, theories, etc. It is very dis-respectful of them to do this to your family.
    I send much love, warm hugs and prayers. PLEASE take care.

  14. Brenda E Hardiek • October 17, 2019 @ 6:55 PM

    We’re so very sorry for your loss. To lose one loved one is tragic, but two in the same night is horrific! God Bless you all! Prayers for your family.

  15. Maggie • October 17, 2019 @ 8:14 PM

    What is wrong with you Lee Mac? You sound like to have some very deep issues.
    So sorry you are so ignorant. Some people should just mind their own business.
    My condolences to everyone who is touched by this tragedy. I am so sorry for
    the pain you are going thorough..

  16. Ken Deren • October 18, 2019 @ 1:57 AM

    A horrible thing to happen to a great actor and his family. My heart goes out to him. Tragedy is never a good thing.

  17. Frances • October 19, 2019 @ 11:46 AM

    Tragic. My heart goes out to Ron.

  18. justin martin • October 19, 2019 @ 4:40 PM

    He’s the best tarzan condolences to ron and family and i hope he can find it in his heart to forgive his son.

  19. betsy ross • October 20, 2019 @ 1:20 PM

    We pray in Jesus’ name for the Peace of the Ely Family. LM isn’t that far off: methamphetamines and its ensuing tragedies are pouring in STILL over that porous border!!

  20. Daniel del Puerto • October 20, 2019 @ 2:27 PM

    My deepest condolesence to Ron and the Ely family. May God heal and console you.

  21. Gil • October 20, 2019 @ 6:23 PM

    I watched his show when I was about 6 years old, it was my favourite TV show and when I saw other actors as Tarzan, they were nowhere near as good. I loved that there was no Jane, no romance, just pure story and action. And he took in a little kid about my age, Jai, and I wanted to be that kid so much so I could have adventures with Tarzan. Ron was the best, and I’m impressed he gave up his career to raise his kids. I’d like to say thanks for the childhood memories and so sorry for your loss. I hope your daughters are able to help you through this.

  22. DONRIS JEANFREAU • October 22, 2019 @ 6:08 AM

    I believe the beautiful sentiments of love & prayer by CARLOS S. is so perfect I have to respect his sincerity & add mine to his. I must express I can’t imagine the disbelief & agony y’all are enduring. I pray you & your family may find peace in this heartbreaking tragic complexity & confusion. I have always loved TARZAN MOVIES as a child with the whole family. I have been a die-hard fan dating back to Johnny Weissmuller. I have even seen a very old silent Tarzan movie. You are a wonderful person & a strong man, your perseverance will help bring the family closer & heal. Much love & prayers for the family & the needed help for son Cameron. May God’s Blessings, Love, Healing, & Peace fill your home & hearts.

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