Ron Ely: Tarzan star's wife stabbed to death by their son

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image captionRon Ely and his wife Valerie Lundeen at a tennis match in New York City in June 1977

The wife of Ron Ely, star of the 1960s Tarzan TV series, was stabbed to death by their son at their California home on Tuesday evening, say police.

Officers called to the Santa Barbara house found Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, dead with "multiple stab wounds".

Authorities said police cornered 30-year-old Cameron Ely outside the home, deemed him a threat and shot him dead.

There was no report of 81-year-old Ely being injured during the attack in the luxury suburb of Hope Ranch.

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image captionRon Ely plays Tarzan in the television series of that name, circa 1967

But earlier the sheriff's office said a disabled elderly man in the home was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The latest Santa Barbara County sheriff's statement said: "Deputies searched the residence and surrounding area for Cameron Ely.

"During the search, the suspect was located outside the home.

"He posed a threat and in response four deputies fired their service weapons at the suspect, fatally wounding him."

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image captionRon Ely poses for the 1966 Tarzan TV series

Ron Ely is best known for his role in the Tarzan TV show that aired on NBC between 1966-68.

Tarzan was a fictional character raised by apes in the African jungle, from a 1914 book by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Ely also played the lead role in the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

Ms Lundeen was a former Miss Florida.

The couple also have two daughters, Kirsten and Kaitland.

According to US media, Cameron Ely attended the elite Philips Exeter Academy boarding school in New Hampshire, before going to Harvard University.

Ron Ely took a break from showbiz between 2001-14 before he returned to the small screen to play an Amish elder in the Lifetime movie Expecting Amish.

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image captionActor Ron Ely in 2012

He told the Charlotte Observer when the film came out: "I stepped out of acting to raise a family and be able to spend more time with them here in Santa Barbara.

"Now, all the kids are through college with advance degrees."

The actor was also a novelist, penning two action thrillers, Night Shadows, in 1994, and East Beach, a year later.

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