'Tarzan' actress Brenda Joyce dies

4:17 PM PST 07/17/2009 by Mike Barnes, AP

Starred as Jane in five movies in the series

Brenda Joyce, the only "Jane" to star opposite two different Tarzans in the talking era of the big screen, died July 4 at a nursing home in Santa Monica. A friend said she was 92.

After Maureen O'Sullivan exited the "Tarzan" series after six films, the strikingly blond Joyce stepped in to star with Johnny Weissmuller in "Tarzan and the Amazons" (1945). She played the intrepid Jane Parker in four more movies, culminating with "Tarzan's Magic Fountain" (1949) opposite the new Tarzan, Lex Barker.

As a model and 21-year-old student at UCLA, Joyce was spotted by a Fox talent scout and named the studio's Discovery of the Year for 1939. That year, she was given the plum role of Fern Simon in "The Rains Came," an adaptation of the Louis Bromfield novel that starred Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power and George Brent.

In addition to the "Tarzan" films, Joyce appeared in such pics as "Little Old New York" (1940), "Marry the Boss's Daughter" (1941), "The Postman Didn't Ring" (1942) and "The Spider Woman Strikes Back" (1947).

Joyce didn't make a movie after 1949. She worked for a decade in Washington for the Department of Immigration and appeared in two episodes of PBS kids show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1971.
comments powered by Disqus