Olympian and actor Herman Brix dies

Thu Mar 1, 4:29 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Herman Brix, the Olympic shot putter who played Tarzan in a 1935 movie, has died. He was 100.

Brix, who used the name Bruce Bennett for many of his movies, died Saturday at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center of complications from a broken hip, son Christopher said.

Brix, who was born in Tacoma, Wash., in 1906, was a track star at the University of Washington, where he also played football and was in the 1926 Rose Bowl game.

In 1928, he won the Olympic silver medal in the shot put.

After moving to Los Angeles the next year, he became friends with actor

Douglas Fairbanks, who arranged a screen test.

Brix is said to have been a leading candidate to play Tarzan for MGM, but he was sidelined by a broken shoulder he suffered while filming a football movie. The injury also hurt his bid to qualify for the 1932 Olympic trials.

Olympic swimmer

Johnny Weissmuller got the Tarzan role in the 1932 movie and went on to appear in a string of sequels.

However, "Tarzan" author Edgar Rice Burroughs picked Brix to star in another Tarzan movie two years later, the independently produced movie "The New Adventures of Tarzan."

Brix went on to appear in more than a dozen movies but he was concerned that his Tarzan appearance had typecast him in action roles. He began working under the name of Bruce Bennett.

Under that name, he appeared in dozens of movies. In 1948's "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," he played a prospector who encounters Humphrey Bogart's character and later is killed by bandits. He also did TV guest appearances in series such as "The Virginian" and "Perry Mason."

Brix, who had an economics degree, went into business in the 1960s. He was West Coast sales manager for a Los Angeles vending machine company and had a successful real estate career before he retired in the mid-1980s.

Besides his son, Brix is survived by a daughter, Christina Katich, three grandchildren and two-great-grandchildren.

Services were to be private.


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