From Our ERB Events Site
*** 1921: Nancy Kelly (1921.03.25-1995.01.02),
who provided the female pulchritude while Jane was off in London in "Tarzan's
Desert Mystery," was born this date in Lowell, Mass.
ERBzine describes "Desert Mystery" this way: "In
response to a letter from Jane, who is in England nursing British troops,
Tarzan and Boy trek across the desert looking for jungle plants to be used
in creating a malaria serum. On the way they save a Jaynar, a wild horse,
from a German, arrive at an Arab city and rescue a stranded American magician,
Connie Bryce (Nancy Kelly). When they reach Bir Herari they meet Hendrix,
who is really the Nazi, Heinrich, whom Connie is on a mission to expose.
Heinrich arrests Tarzan as a horse thief. Heinrich and his crony, Strader,
follow Connie who is delivering a message to the sheik's palace. The Germans
kill the sheik's son, Prince Selim (Robert Lowery) and frame it on Connie,
who is sentenced to hang. Tarzan escapes and summons the stallion Jaynar
and during the resulting stampede, Tarzan is able to rescue Connie and
take her to a nearby jungle where Tarzan fights off prehistoric monsters
to obtain the fever medicine. He battles a maneating plant and throws the
Nazis to be killed by a giant spider."
For you Maverick fans out there,
Nancy Kelly was the sister of Jack Kelly, who played Bart Maverick.
Nancy herself was in lots of TV westerns as well as other series and movies,
including her role as the suicidal mother in both the stage and film versions
of "The Bad Seed," for which she had an Academy Award nomination.
"Tarzan and the Sheik" was a title that was under
consideration for this movie. Some posters were even printed with that
title. At the 1989 ECOF in Tarzana, when Forrest J Ackerman invited
ERB fans to tour the collection room at his home, Roy White spotted
one of those posters in Forry's "for sale" room and bought it.
Kelly died at her Bel Air, California,
home on January 2, 1995, from complications of diabetes at the age of 73.
She was survived by a daughter and three granddaughters. She was interred
in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Tarzan's Desert Mystery in ERBzine
Nancy Kelly Photo Gallery from "Desert Mystery"
Silver Screen Series with three lobby displays