Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ 15,000 Web Pages In Archive
The Special Guest for the
PALM SPRINGS ECOF 2023 ~ April
Tommy Cook, featured in two Edgar Rice Burroughs films,
is one of the last living actors of the Johnny Weissmuller
and has a lifetime of stories to tell.
Tommy will join ERB fans at the unveiling of Edgar
Rice Burroughs star
on the world-famous Palm Springs Walk of Stars
on April 4, 2023, at 11 a.m.
During the ECOF event Tommy will sit for a Q&A
with attendees and
will be selling and signing stills of his film roles
and discussing his career with fans.
Tommy appeared on the silver screen in two ERB-related
Girl (15 part serial in 1941 for Republic Pictures).
After the war he made an appearance in
the 1946 film
and the Leopard Woman.
Johnny Sheffield, Tommy Cook, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Weissmuller
Above are the screen captures I've made from the short
FROM TARZAN TO JUNGLE GIRL
Click or Tap for full size
Click or Tap for full size
TOMMY COOK BIO BITS
Tommy Cook (born in Duluth on July 5, 1930) is an American
producer, screenwriter and actor.
Tommy had an older sister, Nancy, born on October 6, 1927.
The Cook family had been pioneer clothing store merchants
in Duluth from 1891.
Tommy’s parents moved the family to Los Angeles around 1936
because of father Emanuel’s health. It was there that Tommy’s mother Fern
encouraged him to get involved in acting,
The five-year-old Tommy, along with his mother, grandmother
and sister, were seriously injured in a car accident in Van Horn, Texas,
while traveling from Minnesota to California. The other driver was intoxicated
and the driver of Tommy's car fell asleep at the wheel. Tommy suffered
facial injuries when he went through the windshield.
He eventually gained entry into the famous Pasadena Playhouse.
Portrayed Little Beaver on in the Republic film serial Adventures
of Red Ryder (1940) and recreated this role in Mutual Radio's "The Adventures
of Red Ryder" (1942-1945).
This led to his early typecasting in olive-skinned ethnic
film roles as Africans, Indians, Italians, Hispanics, Arabians, etc.
Discovered at the age of 8 for radio by producer director
Arch Oboler, who became his mentor. Tommy became a top child/adolescent
radio star of the 1940s.
He had parts in two Edgar Rice Burroughs-related films: Jungle
Girl serial (1941) as Kumbu and Tarzan
and the Leopard Woman (1946) as Kimba.
Known for pulling pranks on film sets. While shooting American
Guerrilla in the Philippines (1950) starring Tyrone Power, he played a
big prank on co-star Micheline Presle. Calling her up at her Manila hotel,
he disguised his voice as a foreign hotel manager and told her they were
moving her to another hotel. Ms. Prelle packed up her belongings and waited
for hours at the hotel lobby waiting for a driver to take her to her new
Tommy appeared in nearly 100 films and television shows during
his career, sometimes credited, sometimes not.
Two of his very early films were actually shorts: Mutiny
in the County (1940) for RKO, and an "Our Gang"-type comedy called The
Greenie (1942) at MGM.
Some of his most notable film roles were in Good Luck, Mr.
Yates (1943); Hi, Buddy (1943); American Guerilla in the Philippines (1950);
and Teen-Age Crime Wave (1955).
A TV series script he created for himself in the 1950's about
cops who go undercover to infiltrate dangerous organizations later served
as the basis of the Aaron Spelling series The Mod Squad (1968).
Although he appeared in television roles throughout the 1960s
and 1970s, his acting career faded as he grew up.
Lent his voice for several prominent Hanna-Barbera animated
series in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Created TV's "Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes" utilizing
such stars as Bill Cosby, Farrah Fawcett, Charlton Heston, James Franciscus
and Elke Sommer, among a tennis court full of others.
Won a Photoplay Award for "Outstanidng Performance of the
Year" for his leading role in The Vicious Years (1950).
Tommy was one of the leading junior tennis players in Southern
California at one time and often created/emceed/played tournaments for
charity. Instigated the Bobby Riggs/Billie Jean King challenge before it
Has a son, Mikhael Thomas Cook.
Tommy’s father died in Los Angeles on December 28, 1957.
His mother lived to be 100, dying on April 5, 2001, in Los Angeles.
Personal Quote: "Why did I not make the
transition from child actor to adult actor? I still haven't figured that
out! I can give excuses that I was too short and too tough-looking and
that the parts wouldn't open up . . . but that's B.S. I just, for some
I have 10 special limited edition Red Ryder rifles
sent directly to me by Daisy still factory sealed.
Pictures of Don Berry and myself as Little Beaver
are on the box from the series.
I am happy to sign the box and the actual rifle and
even take a pic of myself signing.
I can at your request make this personalized.
Last time Daisy sent me these as a gift they were
gone in a few hours.
PART II OF OUR TOMMY COOK TRIBUTE
CAREER PHOTO GALLERIES WILL BE FEATURED NEXT WEEK
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