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17 October 2019 05:51

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LOS ANGELES: The wife of the 1960s television "Tarzan" star Ron Ely was stabbed to death at their California home by the couple's son, who was then fatally shot by police in a confrontation outside the residence, authorities said on Wednesday. Sheriff's deputies responding Tuesday night to reports of a family disturbance in the Hope Ranch suburb of Santa Barbara found the actor's wife, Valeerie Lundeen, 62, dead from multiple stab wounds inside the home, the sheriff's office said in a statement. Deputies immediately identified the suspected killer as the couple's son, Cameron Ely, 30, whom they found on the property outside after a brief search. The younger Ely posed an unspecified threat to the deputies, leading them to open fire on him, the statement said. He was fatally wounded, but none of the four deputies involved in the shooting was hurt, according to the sheriff's account.

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The deputies were being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, it said. Ron Ely starred in the 1960s TV series Tarzan. -Pic source: Warner Bros The elder Ely, 81, described in the sheriff's account as disabled, was also found at the home and taken to an area hospital for evaluation. There was no immediate word on what may have precipitated the stabbing. Ely is best known for playing the title role in the original prime-time TV "Tarzan" series, which ran from fall 1966 until fall 1969 - first on NBC, then on CBS. He was the 14th screen actor to inhabit the role of the jungle hero created by Edgar Rice Burroughs since "Tarzan of the Apes" was released as a silent movie nearly a half century earlier. Ely performed most of his own stunts, although the famed Tarzan yell was dubbed from a recording of Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic champion swimmer who starred as Tarzan in a dozen Hollywood film during the 1930s and '40s. In the 1980s, Ely hosted the game show "Face the Music" and twice hosted the Miss America Pageants. He and Lundeen, a former Miss Florida USA, married in 1984 and had three children, including Cameron.--Reuters Valerie Lundeen was a junior at Miami Palmetto High in 1973 in this yearbook photo. Palm Echo Yearbook, Palmetto High A former Miss Florida and Miami Palmetto High graduate was brutally murdered in her California home that she shared with her husband, Ron Ely, the famed 'Tarzan' actor, authorities said Wednesday. Photo from the television program "Tarzan." In photo are Ron Ely (Tarzan) and Andrew Prine. Photo is in Public Domain Photo is in public domain On Tuesday evening, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call at the home of Ely, the lead actor in the television series, "Tarzan," which ran from 1966 to 1968. Deputies found Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, dead with multiple stab wounds shortly after 8 p.m., according to a sheriff's department statement. Explore where you live. Subscribe for 12 FREE weeks of unlimited digital access. SAVE NOW Valerie Lundeen won Miss Florida in 1981, representing Miami. She grew up in Miami-Dade County and graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Class of 1974. She was also a former flight attendant and won Miss Airlines International in 1980, according to The Miami News. The suspect was the Elys' son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely, deputies said. After searching the area, deputies found Cameron outside the Santa Barbara County home. The sheriff's office said he posed a threat and four deputies shot and killed him. No deputies were injured. There was no report of Ron Ely, 81, being injured. Authorities said he was at the home during the stabbing and the shooting. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. Soya Owens, who went to high school with Valerie, posted on Facebook condolences and said she was "a very sweet person." Valerie's daughters Kirsten and Kaitland, who are both social media influencers, have not yet spoken about their mother's murder. The couple had three children, according to news reports, Cameron and the two sisters.