Jane Porter (Tarzan)

Jane Porter (Tarzan)

Jane Porter (later Jane Clayton, Lady Greystoke) is a major character in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Tarzan novels, and in adaptations of the saga to other media, particularly film.

In the novels

Jane, an American from Baltimore, Maryland, is the love interest and later the wife of Tarzan, and subsequently the mother of their son Korak. She develops over the course of the series from a conventional damsel in distress who must be rescued from various perils to a competent and capable adventuress in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the jungles of Africa. She first appeared in the initial Tarzan novel, "Tarzan of the Apes" (1912), reappearing in the second, "The Return of Tarzan" (1913), the third, "The Beasts of Tarzan" (1914), the fourth, "The Son of Tarzan" (1914), the fifth, "Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar" (1916), the seventh, "Tarzan the Untamed" (1920), the eighth, "Tarzan the Terrible" (1921), the ninth, "Tarzan and the Golden Lion" (1923), the tenth, "Tarzan and the Ant Men" (1924), and the nineteenth, "Tarzan's Quest" (1936). Jane also appeared in a minor role in the non-Tarzan novel "The Eternal Lover" (1925).

On film

Jane has appeared in numerous adaptations of the Tarzan stories, notably a number of Tarzan movies based on "Tarzan of the Apes", including the silent films "Tarzan of the Apes" (1918) and "The Romance of Tarzan" (1918).

The most famous screen Jane was played by Maureen O'Sullivan opposite Johnny Weissmuller in the sound film "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932), and its sequels, which changed the character's name to Jane Parker, portrayed her as British rather than American, and made her and Tarzan the adoptive parents of an orphan the named "Boy." Remakes of the 1932 film ("Tarzan, the Ape Man" (1959) and "Tarzan, the Ape Man" (1981)) reprised this portrayal.

Jane also appears in two more recent movie adaptations, "" (1984), and "Tarzan" (1999), an animated film. This version of Jane also appears in Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series in the Deep Jungle world. The most recent live-action movie released was 1998's "Tarzan and the Lost City", with Jane March as Jane Porter opposite Casper Van Dien as Tarzan.



*Enid Markey 1918, 1918 (Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan)
*Karla Schramm 1920, 1920 (Gene Pollar as Tarzan; P. Dempsey Tabler as Tarzan)
*Louise Lorraine 1921 (Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan)
*Dorothy Dunbar 1927 (James H. Pierce as Tarzan)
*Natalie Kingston 1929 (Frank Merrill as Tarzan)
*Maureen O'Sullivan 1932, 1934, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942 (Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan)
*Brenda Joyce 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 (Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan; Lex Barker as Tarzan)
*Vanessa Brown 1950 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
*Virginia Huston 1951 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
*Dorothy Hart 1952 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
*Joyce MacKenzie 1953 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
*Eve Brent, 1958, 1958 (Gordon Scott as Tarzan)
*Joanna Barnes 1959 (Denny Miller as Tarzan)
*Bo Derek 1981 (Miles O'Keeffe as Tarzan)
*Andie MacDowell 1984 (Christopher Lambert as Tarzan)
*Kim Crosby 1989 (Joe Lara as Tarzan)
*Lydie Denier 1991-1994 (TV series) (Wolf Larson as Tarzan)
*Jane March 1998 (Casper Van Dien as Tarzan)
*Minnie Driver 1999 (voice - Disney's animated Tarzan) (Tony Goldwyn as the voice of Tarzan)
*Olivia D'Abo 2001 (voice - animated TV series) (Michael T. Weiss as the voice of Tarzan)
*Sarah Wayne Callies 2003 (WB series) (Travis Fimmel as Tarzan)


*Joan Burroughs Pierce 1932-1934


*Ethel Dwyer 1921 (Broadway)
*Jenn Gambatese 2006 (Disney's Broadway Musical)

Video Games

*Naia Kelly 2002 (Kingdom Hearts)

Audio Cassette

*1999 Minnie Driver

Jane in all but name

Three Tarzan films presented female leads who became the companion of Tarzan, but who were not named Jane Porter, for one reason or another.

* "Tarzan the Mighty" (1928), starring Frank Merrill. Natalie Kingston portrays Mary Trevor, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end. A year later Miss Kingston portrayed Jane to Merrill's Tarzan in "Tarzan the Tiger".

* "Tarzan the Fearless" (1933), starring Buster Crabbe. Jacqueline Wells portrays Mary Brooks, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end.

* "Tarzan's Revenge" (1938), starring Glenn Morris. Eleanor Holm portrays Eleanor Reed, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end. Producer Sol Lesser nixed calling the character Jane as he felt Miss Holm was so popular for her swimming exploits that audiences would not accept her playing a character not named Eleanor.


Essoe, Gabe, "Tarzan of the Movies", 1968, Citadel Press

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