FORGOT TEN HEROES
ONCE THEY WERE HUGE — NOW WE’D BE AMAZED TO SEE THEM MAKE A TARZAN-STYLE COMEBACK
Johnny Weissmuller’s signature role after Tarzan was a safari-suited hunter based on a newspaper comic strip. He starred in 16 films between 1948 and 1956, and in the last three, thanks to rights issues, the character was also called Johnny Weissmuller.
Though more of a radio hero, this masked vigilante did enjoy a healthy secondary career on film. Six shorts, a serial and four features were made between 1931 and 1958. Russell Mulcahy made a new movie in 1994, starring Alec Baldwin, but it flopped.
Comic-strip heroine Blondie Boopadoop ditzed through 28 comedy feature film adventures between 1938 and 1950. Penny Singleton — also the voice of Jane Jetson — played her in every one.
Singing cowboy Rogers made more than 100 movies during the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, usually playing a character called Roy Rogers. He was a merchandising phenomenon, his name becoming a brand second only to Walt Disney.
Nothing to do with Elton John but the basis for the later Rocketeer comics and 1991 Disney movie, the masked and jet-packed Rocket Man was the hero of four 12-part Republic Pictures film serials between 1949 and 1953.
The globetrotting Honolulu detective investigated 50-odd screen cases between 1926 and 1949. Usually played by a white actor (the Swedish Warner Oland from 1931 to 1938), he’s now seen as an outdated Asian stereotype.