Synopses & Reviews
For the first time, the granddaddy of all Hollywood animals tells his remarkable story, from the golden age of the silver screen to the lounge chairs of palm springs. Cheeta the Chimp, star of the Tarzan films, bares all—as only a primate can.
In 1984 Johnny Weissmuller, Hollywood's true Tarzan, passed away. His coffin was lowered into the ground to the recorded sounds of his famous jungle call. Maureen O'Sullivan, his Jane, followed him in 1998. But their co-star, Cheeta the chimpanzee, the greatest animal actor in the history of the silver screen, lives on. At seventy-six, he is by some distance the oldest chimp ever recorded.
Now, in his own words, Cheeta finally tells his extra-ordinary story.
Plucked from millions of swinging hopefuls in the jungles of Liberia, Cheeta became an international screen icon from the moment of his debut in 1934's Tarzan and His Mate. He went on to star in a further nine Tarzan pictures and later in Doctor Dolittle, with the supercilious Rex Harrison, until finally his battles with substance abuse forced him into early retirement. But back in the day, this magnificent star cavorted (and occasionally snorted) with all the Hollywood greats.
We are privileged, indeed, that such a legendary entertainer should grant us intimate access to the lives of the most glittering stars. Well aware that no animal has ever been successfully sued for libel, Cheeta shares fascinating revelations about a lost Hollywood.
Funny, moving, and searingly honest, this is unquestionably the greatest celebrity autobiography of our time.
"Cheeta's reminiscences of old Hollywood have a fun, sardonic side, and he dishes the dirt on everyone." Library Journal
"My Christmas present problem was solved months ago: it's the book that everyone should find under the tree. Why is everyone not raving about Me Cheeta: The Autobiography? It really is one of the smartest comic novels of recent years." Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The ultimate tell-all LA memoir... Celebrity memoirists should read this and weep." Independent (London) Best 20 Books of the Year
"Me Cheeta: undoubtedly the year's best not-a-memoir-at-all. It's hard to conceive of anyone who'd like a biography for Christmas who wouldn't like a copy of this truly, horribly funny book." Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph
"It's the book everyone's talking about, a book that makes you guffaw out loud... We get a tender love story, a spot of monkey lore and, just to cap things off, a constant riff on the pluses and minuses of being forced to leave one's 'natural habitat.' Blow me, even the index is a delight." Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard
"A dazzling performance....An incisive, hilarious study of Hollywood folkways."
--Wall Street Journal
The tell-all memoir of all tell-all memoirs, Me Cheeta is the unexpurgated true life story of the granddaddy of all Hollywood animals, Cheeta the Chimp, star of the Tarzan films. The Washington Post calls this insider's tale from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen, "Hilarious, catty, melancholy and, occasionally, deep," and it was nominated for Great Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize (though Chimp Booker Prize would be more appropriate). As told to James Lever, Me Cheeta is one ape's story of his on-and-off screen interactions with the likes of Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Rex Harrison, and Bela Lugosi. Tinkerbell, Paris Hilton's dog, had her literary day, as did Socks the First Cat. Now it's Cheeta's turn
The grandaddy of all Hollywood animals tells his remarkable true life story from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen. Cheeta the Chimp, star of the Tarzan films, bares all--as only he can. b&w photo insert.
“A dazzling performance….An incisive, hilarious study of Hollywood folkways.”
—Wall Street Journal
The tell-all memoir of all tell-all memoirs, Me Cheeta is the unexpurgated true life story of the granddaddy of all Hollywood animals, Cheeta the Chimp, star of the Tarzan films. The Washington Post calls this insiders tale from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen, “Hilarious, catty, melancholy and, occasionally, deep,” and it was nominated for Great Britains prestigious Man Booker Prize (though Chimp Booker Prize would be more appropriate). As told to James Lever, Me Cheeta is one apes story of his on-and-off screen interactions with the likes of Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen OSullivan, Rex Harrison, and Bela Lugosi. Tinkerbell, Paris Hiltons dog, had her literary day, as did Socks the First Cat. Now its Cheetas turn!
About the Author
Cheeta the chimp was just a baby in 1932 when he was snatched from the jungle of Liberia by the great animal importer Henry Trefflich. That same year, Cheeta appeared in Tarzan the Ape Man, and in 1934 in Tarzan and His Mate, in which he famously stole clothes from a naked Maureen OSullivan, who was dripping wet from an underwater swimming scene with Johnny Weissmuller. Other Tarzan films followed, and later roles with Bela Lugosi in the 1950s. Cheeta finally retired from the big screen after the 1967 film Doctor Dolittle with Rex Harrison, whose finger he accidentally bit backstage while being offered a placatory banana. Cheeta now lives in Palm Springs, where, at age seventy-seven, he is by far the oldest living chimpanzee ever recorded.