Born Jacques O'Mahoney on February 7, 1919, in Chicago, Jock Mahoney grew into his 6'4" frame before attending the University of Iowa, where he excelled in football, basketball, and swimming, among other sports. As with many young men of the era, he enlisted in the Marines and became a fighter pilot and an instructor. After World War II, Mahoney made his way to Hollywood, where he quickly found work as a stuntman for such western stars as Charles Starrett and Randolph Scott. After signing a contract with Columbia in 1946, Mahoney appeared in a couple of serials and several short subjects, including a number of Three Stooges shorts. Moving to feature films in the late 1940s, in 1949 he auditioned to replace Johnny Weissmuller in the role of Tarzan but lost out to Lex Barker.

Jock MahoneyJock MahoneyJock Mahoney

Jock Mahoney acted in many westerns in the 1940s and 1950s

Jock Mahoney worked as a stuntman and Charles Starrett's costar in Columbia's 'Durango Kid' series of films from 1947 until 1952. And in 1951, he accepted the part of The Range Rider, a syndicated 78-episode western TV series produced by Gene Autry that ran through 1953. Divorced from his first wife, Mahoney met actress Margaret Field, the mother of actress Sally Field, on the set of Range Rider, and they married in 1952. Mahoney and Field had a daughter, Princess, in 1955, and after a timultuous marriage, the couple divorced in 1968. Mahoney married actress Autumn Russell in 1969.

In the mid 1950s, Mahoney left Columbia and signed with Universal, making scores of western films at that studio. He also starred in another western TV series, Yancy Derrigner, during the 1959-59 season. In 1961, signed with Sy Weintraub on to replace Gordon Scott as Tarzan. This casting made Mahoney the twelfth series Tarzan and was the oldest actor ever first cast as Tarzan, at the age of 42.

the films of jock mahoney

Hoedown (1950)

Don C. Harvey and Jock Mahoney

From Columbia's western musical Hoedown with Don C. Harvey

Pecos River (1951)

Delores Sidener, Jock Mahoney, and Charles Starrett

With Delores Sidener and Charles Starrett in Pecos River, one of Columbia's 'Durango Kid' series of films

Range Rider (1951-1953 Syndicated TV Series)

Jock MahoneyDick JonesJock Mahoney

LEFT and CENTER: Stills from Range Rider featuring Mahoney as the Range Rider and Dickie Jones as Dick West. RIGHT: Cover from one of Dell's Range Rider comics from 1952

The Rough, Tough West (1952)

Jock Mahoney and Charles StarrettCharles Starrett, Carolina Cotton, and Jock Mahoney

From the Columbia 'Durango Kid' entry The Rough, Tough West. LEFT: With Charles Starrett. RIGHT: With Charles Starrett and Carolina Cotton

Overland Pacific (1954)

Jock Mahoney, Peggie Castle, and William Bishop

With Peggie Castle and William Bishop in the western Overland Pacific

I've Lived Before (1956)

Jock Mahoney

From the Universal-International drama I've Lived Before

Joe Dakota (1957)

Jock Mahoney

Mahoney stars as the title character in the excellent Universal-International western Joe Dakota

Money, Women and Guns (1959)

Jock Mahoney

From the Universal-International western Money, Women and Guns

Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

Jock Mahoney and Gordon ScottJock Mahoney and Gordon ScottJock Mahoney and Gordon ScottJock Mahoney and Gordon ScottJock Mahoney and Betta St. John

From Paramount's Tarzan the Magnificent. LEFT and CENTER: Mahoney is captured by Gordon Scott for committing a murder. RIGHT: Mahoney makes a play for Betta St. John

Three Blondes in His Life (1961)

Jock Mahoney

With Greta Thyssen in the film noir feature Three Blondes in His Life

Tarzan Goes to India (1962)

Simi Garewal and Jock MahoneyJock MahoneyJock MahoneyJock MahoneyLeo Gordon and Jock Mahoney

From MGM's Tarzan Goes to India. LEFT: With Simi Garewal. CENTER: Promotional stills. RIGHT: With Leo Gordon

California (1963)

Jock Mahoney and Faith Domergue

From the American International western California with Faith Domergue

Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963)

Jock MahoneyJock MahoneyWoody Strode and Jock Mahoney

From MGM's Tarzan's Three Challenges. LEFT: Mahoney fell ill during his second outing as Tarzan and lost more than 40 pounds during filming. CENTER and RIGHT: With Woody Strode. While this was was Mahoney's last turn as Tarzan, he did appear in one more Tarzan feature, Tarzan's Deadly Silence (1970; with Ron Ely and Woody Strode), which was actually a multi-part 1966 episode from the TV series edited together and released as a movie

Moro Witch Doctor (1964)

Jock Mahoney and Margia Dean

With Margia Dean in Eddie Romero's action flick Moro Witch Doctor, shot in the Philippines

Tarzan's Deadly Silence (1970)

Jock MahoneyJock Mahoney and Woody Strode

LEFT: Mahoney as the maniacal colonel who plans to capture an African village in Tarzan's Deadly Silence, which features Ron Ely as Tarzan. RIGHT: With Woody Strode

later years

By 1963, Weintraub was interested in casting a younger actor in the role of Tarzan, most likely due to yet another attempt at a Tarzan TV series. Former pro-football player Mike Henry was chosen as Mahoney's replacement and was scheduled to also star in a proposed TV series, but by the time the series was being cast, Henry had declined the role, which then went to Ron Ely in 1966. Suffering from injuries and illnesses during location shooring, Mahoney was happy to leave the role of Tarzan and readily agreed to break his contract with Weintraub.

Ron Ely took over the Tarzan role in 1966 for NBC's Tarzan series, in which Mahoney appeared several times. And continuing his association with the character in the 1980s, Mahoney served as stunt coordinator on John Derek's 1981 production of Tarzan, the Ape Man, starring Miles O'Keeffe and Bo Derek.

Jock MahoneyJock MahoneyJock Mahoney

LEFT: A 1971 photo of most of the surviving Tarzans from The Mike Douglas Show. Pictured from left to right: Johnny Weissmuller, Mike Douglas, Gordon Scott, Totie Fields, Jock Mahoney, Buster Crabbe, Denny Miller, and James Pierce. CENTER: From the 1976 Memphis Film Festival taken by Larry Coyne. RIGHT: From the 1982 Memphis Film Festival taken by Dennis McHaney (thanks to Dennis McHaney)

Mahoney made several action pictures during the later 1960s, such as AIP's biker flick The Glory Stompers (1968; with Jody McCrea) and Bandolero! (1968; with Raquel Welch). In 1973, while guest-starring on an episode of Kung Fu, Mahoney suffered a stroke that sidelined his career. Sadly, Jock Mahoney passed away on December 14, 1989, at the age of 70 from complications resulting from a stroke. He was survived by his third wife, three children and two stepchildren.

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The End (1978) with Burt Reynolds and Sally Field
Their Only Chance (1975)
The Bad Bunch (1973) with Greydon Clark, Aldo Ray, and Jacqueline Cole
Tarzan's Deadly Silence (1970) with Ron Ely and Woody Strode
The Love Bug (1968) with Dean Jones, Michele Lee, Buddy Hackett, and Joe Flynn
Bandolero! (1968) with Dean Martin, James Stewart, and Raquel Welch
Portrait of Violence (1968) with Scott Brady
The Glory Stompers (1968) with Jody McCrea, Chris Noel, and Dennis Hopper
Once Before I Die (1965) with Ursula Andress, Ron Ely, and John Derek
The Walls of Hell (1964) directed by Eddie Romero
Moro Witch Doctor (1964) with Vic Diaz and Reed Hadley
California (1963) with Faith Domergue and Susan Seaforth Hayes
Marine Battleground (1963)
Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) with Woody Strode
Tarzan Goes to India (1962) with Leo Gordon and Mark Dana
Runaway Girl (1962) with Lili St. Cyr and June Jocelyn
Three Blondes in His Life (1961) with Anthony Dexter and Jesse White
Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) with Gordon Scott, John Carradine, Betta St. John, and Lionel Jeffries
Money, Women and Guns (1959) with Kim Hunter, Lon Chaney Jr., William Campbell, and Phillip Terry
A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) with John Gavin, Don DeFore, and Klaus Kinski
The Last of the Fast Guns (1958) with Gilbert Roland, Edward Platt, and Linda Cristal
Battle Hymn (1957) with Rock Hudson, Martha Hyer, Dan Duryea, and Don DeFore
Joe Dakota (1957) with Lee Van Cleef, Luana Patten, Charles McGraw, and Claude Akins
The Land Unknown (1957) with William Reynolds
Slim Carter (1957) with Julie Adams, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Joanna Moore, Bill Williams, and Margaret Field
Away All Boats (1956) with George Nader, Lex Barker, Julie Adams, Jeff Chandler, and Keith Andes
A Day of Fury (1956) with Mara Corday and Dale Robertson
I've Lived Before (1956) with Leigh Snowden and Raymond Bailey
Showdown at Abilene (1956) with Grant Williams and Martha Hyer
Gunfighters of the Northwest (1954) with Clayton Moore and Phyllis Coates
Knutzy Knights (1954) with the Three Stooges
Overland Pacific (1954) with Adele Jergens and Peggie Castle
The Kid From Broken Gun (1952) with Charles Starrett and Myron Healey
Laramie Mountains (1952) with Charles Starrett
The Rough, Tough West (1952) with Charles Starrett
Junction City (1952) with Charles Starrett
Smoky Canyon (1952) with Charles Starrett
The Hawk of Wild River (1952) with Charles Starrett and Clayton Moore
Pecos River (1951) with Charles Starrett
Roar of the Iron Horse (1951)
Santa Fe (1951) with Randolph Scott and John Archer
The Texas Rangers (1951) with George Montgomery, Gale Storm, and Myron Healey
Lightning Guns (1950) with Charles Starrett
Frontier Outpost (1950) with Charles Starrett
The Kangaroo Kid (1950) with Martha Hyer and Veda Ann Borg
David Harding, Counterspy (1950) with Willard Parker
Hoedown (1950) with Eddie Arnold and Jeff Donnell
Texas Dynamo (1950) with Charles Starrett
Roar of the Iron Horse (1950) a 15-chapter Columbia serial
Cow Town (1950) with Gene Autry and Gail Davis
Cody of the Pony Express (1950) with Dickie Moore; a 15-chapter Columbia serial
The Nevadan (1950) with Randolph Scott and Dorothy Malone
Renegades of the Sage (1949) with Charles Starrett
Horsemen of the Sierras (1949) with Charles Starrett
Bandits of El Dorado (1949) with Charles Starrett and Clayton Moore
Rim of the Canyon (1949) with Gene Autry and Nan Leslie
Blazing Trail (1949) with Charles Starrett
The Doolins of Oklahoma (1949) with Randolph Scott, Louise Allbritton, and John Ireland
Smoky Mountain Melody (1948) with Roy Acuff
Trail to Laredo (1948) with Charles Starrett
South of the Chisholm Trail (1947) with Charles Starrett
The Fighting Frontiersman (1946) with Charles Starrett

The following short subjects are all with the Three Stooges (thanks to Sean)
Hot Stuff (1956)
Knutzy Knights (1954)
Punch Cowpunchers (1950)
Fuelin' Around (1949)
Squareheads of the Round Table (1948)
Out West (1947)

Yancy Derringer, TV series, 1958-59, 34 episodes
The Range Rider, TV series, 1951-52, 78 episodes
In addition, Mahoney made numerous TV appearances in the 1950s through the 1980s on popular series, such as Batman, Banacek, The Streets of San Francisco, and The Fall Guy.

jock mahoney links

Bob Callaghan's Jock Mahoney Site
Visit the site of Winnipeg's biggest Jock Mahoney fan for more photos and information about this western actor and former Tarzan.

Jock Mahoney at B
This site highlights Jock Mahoney's stuntman career.

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Watch Jock Mahoney's 1957 science fiction film The Land Unknown
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This page premiered April 16, 1999.
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