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Volume 3338

LYDIE'S PHOTOS
Me Jane. . . Not You!
An autobiography of Lydie M. Denier, star of the hit 1990s Tarzan TV series.
See Jane Write
Lydie Denier, star of the "Tarzan" television series in the 1990s,
takes up writing with her new book, 'Me, Jane... Not You!'
CoastMagazine.com ~ September 21, 2010 ~ by Sarah Mosqueda

You could say Lydie Denier was born to play the role of Jane, love interest of the fictional feral child-turned-jungle man Tarzan. 

“I was a Tarzan fan my whole life,” says the French-born Denier, who moved to Laguna Beach seven months ago, after 25 years in West Hollywood. She spent her childhood in France climbing trees and playing in the tree house her uncle built for her. 

“And who hasn’t dreamed of being kidnapped by a handsome jungle man?” she adds with a laugh. 

Besides identifying with the fantasy and adventure of Tarzan, her exotic blue eyes and tan skin look as if they belong against the backdrop of a thick green jungle. Looking at her on a bright morning sitting at the rooftop bar of La Casa del Camino in Laguna Beach, it’s easy to see why Aaron Spelling handpicked her for the role on the "Tarzan" television series in 1991. 

Opposite Wolf Larson as Tarzan, she filmed the series in Mexico over the following three years. The show was successful, syndicated in 87 countries, making Denier the record-holder for most screen time of any actress who has played Jane in both TV and film. The part led to more roles on the small screen, including spots on "Melrose Place," "Baywatch," "Spin City," and "Gilmore Girls." And she never dreamed the role she was meant to play would lead to a career as a writer – but her agent encouraged her to keep a diary, saying she might some day like to write a memoir.

“At the time I thought it was crazy,” says Denier. “I thought, ‘I’m an actress and model, not a writer.’ ” 

But she dutifully kept the journal and when the show ended, she had a lot of material. It wasn’t until 2006 that she revisited the notes, finally turning them into a book. The result – Me, Jane... Not You! – available electronically through Magellan Books, recounts her childhood in France, early modeling career, her eventual move to Hollywood, and what it was like being Jane. 

“It’s about surviving in Hollywood. And never giving up on your dream.” 

It wasn’t easy turning pages of notes from nearly 10 years ago into a book, so she enlisted the help of a writing coach. 

“He really kicked my butt,” she laughs. “'Lazy writing! You can do better than that!'” she says, recalling his critique. 

But it wasn’t the writing that Denier found most difficult. Nor was it the language barrier (ever the quick learner, Denier mastered English in six months early in her acting career). 

“Some things were tough to remember,” she says. “It was emotionally draining.” 

Particularly the death of Sean Roberge, who played Roger Taft, Jr., Jane’s assistant on the show. 

“He was like a little brother,” she says of Roberge, who was just 17 years old when he joined the cast of "Tarzan." “During the first season, he was shorter than me, the second season he was as tall as me and by the third season he was taller than me.” 

When Roberge was killed in a car accident in 1996, Denier found it too painful to watch old "Tarzan" episodes, but revisited them for her book. She also connected with his family members, spending time with Roberge’s mother, who requested that she make copies of the pictures of her son Denier gathered as part of her research. 

Although the process was long and hard, Denier is happy with the result and declares it a unique story only she can tell, as one might gather from the title.

“I was Jane,” she laughs. “Not you. This book, it’s me. Pure creation from page one to the last.”

A SAMPLING OF PHOTOS FROM
ME JANE. . . NOT YOU!

.
 
Lydie M. Denier


Standing 5'7" with a mane of chestnut locks, fiery blue eyes, a perfect figure and classically chiseled face, Lydie M Denier commands attention. This sought after French cover girl flaunted and flicked in the pages of Vogue, Elle and every other pan-global magazine of repute is now an actor, writer and Hollywood producer.

Born in Brittany, France, Lydie began to travel the world when she was 14 and has spent time in Africa, the Caribbean and Germany where she had a record deal with Polygram recording French ballads. Lydie came to Los Angeles on vacation and decided to pursue the acting career she had dreamed of since childhood. Fluent in few languages except English, Lydie began to appearing in videos and commercials all the while refining her English skills and studying acting.

Lydie’s first film appearance came when she was cast in Bulletproof with Gary Busey from Cinetel Pictures. In the past, Lydie has had the opportunity to demonstrate her versatility by appearing in a number of television series and feature films. Her credits include the recurring role of the French nurse Danielle on China Beach and the role of Yasmine Bernoudi on General Hospital. She has proved equally adept at comedy and drama, appearing on The Flash, The Garry Shandling Show, The Ellen Burstyn Show and The Single Guy.

In Worldvision Enterprises’ Tarzan a weekly, half-hour, action series for syndication, Lydie assumed the central role of Jane Porter. She sees her Jane as “a modern woman who brings the positive aspects of civilization to the Jungle to conduct research on endangered species. But she also has come to find herself. Jane is independent and intelligent. She has no fear and will do anything”. Tarzan, the series, was sold in 87 countries around the world.

When the producers of Tarzan were searching for an actress to play the role of Jane, the well-educated, contemporary and passionate scientist, they needed only to meet with Lydie to find exactly who they were looking for.

Likewise, Zalman King, the high priest of erotic filmmaking was captivated by Lydie and cast the gorgeous creature in Wild Orchid II, A Touch of Blue. In this dramatic odyssey through the underworld of prostitution, Lydie becomes the sexual tutor to a teenage girl, Blue, who joins the brothel after she is orphaned. Zalman King also cast her in The Red Shoe Diaries, Talk to Me, Baby co-starring Richard Tyson for Showtime television.

Lydie was also seen in Cannon’s action/drama No Place to Hide in which she plays Drew Barrymore’s sister and co-stars with Martin Landau and Kris Kristofferson. She was also in Guardian Angel with Cynthia Rothrock, Invasion of Privacy with Robby Benson and Jennifer O’Neill, Perfect Alibi with Teri Garr, Hector Elizondo and Kathleen Quinlan.

In the recent past, Lydie has been added to the cast of Acapulco Heat, playing the role of the sophisticated agent who starts up the H.E.A.T. team for a second season. She was also in The New Adventures of Robin Hood playing the role of Countess du Monde.

Lydie has traveled far from the countryside in France where she grew up watching old movies on television, and dreaming of becoming an actress. Her travels have taken her to exotic lands and her experiences have been diverse. Now she anxiously enters this stage of her life with all the Joie de Vivre for which the French are famous.

“Me Jane… Not You!” is her first book.

PREVIEW EXCERPTS

Chapter One: My Love for Johnny
As a little girl, I was in love with Johnny Weissmuller. I dreamt of him. I wished so hard to be Maureen O’Sullivan. I wanted to be Jane. I desired a strong muscular, beautiful man at my side, who would take care of me, protect me, and unconditionally love me. I wanted a man who looked like my Johnny.

In the story, Tarzan was from a noble English family. He was born in tropical Africa. His parents died when he was about a year old. The infant was found and adopted by a huge she-ape. The mental development of this ape man in spite of every handicap was very high. He learned to read English without knowledge of the spoken language. His inherent reasoning faculties lifted him high above his savage jungle friends and enemies. And of course, he met a Caucasian girl.

Johnny Weissmuller is my favorite Tarzan of all time. His muscles were strong yet lean just like a swimmer. He had the most beautifully, shaped body. His fullshaped ass flawlessly, tight, like a bow string, it often distracted me. Weissmuller’s deep eyes shimmered, like bottomless pools of water. I drowned myself in them. I imagined him to be a great kisser. He had full, sensuous lips. These days, women pay a fortune to get the same ones. I felt his kiss as surreal, a journey into a world of fantasy where only he and I existed. Warm and appetizing, like a freshly-baked bun right out of the oven, they pressed my mouth into a frenzy. Like eating chocolate, I kissed his taste of sweetness. One kiss. One eternity. Turning back for me now existed in the past.

Weissmuller’s chest hammered my mind. Firm, smooth and hard like marble, it pasted a picture of unyielding power and strength to me. But yet, I imagined it to be as comfortable as a goose down pillow. The bareness, skin-like a baby’s butt. I know I can smell him. A woody, great wine. A rugged jungle man. His great hands with big fingers, made my muscles twitch. And my grandmother always says: big fingers, big penis. Phew!

TARZAN AND JANE VISIT ERB, INC ~ 2011 ~ TARZANA

Lydie with Casper Van Dien
Under the ERB Burial Tree in the ERB, Inc. Garden on Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA


Lydie and Casper in the offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana, CA
With ERB, Inc. President Jim Sullos and Archivist Cathy Wilbanks



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