Michael Dennis Henry was born August 15th, 1936. He was an athletic professional football player at the time he entered the movies. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1958-61) and the Los Angeles Rams (1962-64). During part of that time (1961-64) he was under contract with Warner Brothers and played a variety of bit parts (TV’s Surfside 6 (1960), Hawaiian Eye (1959), Cheyenne (1955) & the movie, Spencer’s Mountain (1963)). He earned the role of Tarzan when series producer, Sy Weintraub began looking for a “younger Burt Lancaster” type, anticipating not only more Tarzan movies but a TV series as well. Weintraub was a Rams fan and had seen a TV documentary about them called Men from the Boys, produced by and featuring Mike Henry. Mike only made three Tarzan movies. He suffered animal bites, food poisoning, infections, and impossible work schedules in Mexico and especially Brazil. He wound up suing Weintraub for “maltreatment, abuse, and working conditions detrimental to my health and welfare.” Just before his second Tarzan release in 1967 he was signed as Sgt. Kowalski in John Wayne’s The Green Berets (1968). He made more movies, including the part of “Junior”, as a naive son of Jackie Gleason, with the role of Buford T. Justice! in the Smokey and the Bandit (1977) movie set there were three.
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