Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0005022011: BRUCE BENNETT

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Early vintage 8x10-inch matte-finish sepia-tone three-quarter portrait, signed and inscribed in fountain pen in the early 1940s, shortly after switching his name from Herman Brix.  In very fine condition.  Following a shoulder injury in 1932, the Olympic shot-putter lost out on both a gold medal and the leading role in MGM's fantasy film Tarzan the Ape Man.  Consolation came three years later, when he was cast in the same role in an independent serial, The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935).  The series is still lauded by fans as the only Tarzan film between the silents and the 1960s to present the character accurately, as a sophisticated, educated English nobleman who preferred living in the jungle and was able to speak directly with animals in their own distinct languages. Alas, he thereafter found himself typecast, playing similar troglodyte roles in films like Hawk of the Wilderness (1938), or else unable to grow beyond cliffhangers and adventure movies, such as The Lone Ranger (1938) and Land of Fighting Men (1938).  An exception was the Bela Lugosi thriller Shadow of Chinatown in 1936.  Following a brief hiatus, Brix reemerged as leading man Bruce Bennett, memorable in the horror flicks Before I Hang (1940) and The Man with Nine Lives (1940) with Boris Karloff; The Phantom Submarine (1940); Sahara (1943); Mildred Pierce (1945); A Stolen Life (1946); Nora Prentiss (1947); Dark Passage (1947); The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); Daniel Boone, Trailblazer (1956); and the sci-fi cult classics The Alligator People (1956) and The Cosmic Man (1959).