The star of Tarzan: The Epic Adventures has died after a small plane crash in Tennessee this weekend.
Joe Lara, who starred in more than two dozen Hollywood productions including a run as the king of the jungle on TV in the late 1990s, was 58 years old. Tragically, his wife Gwen Shamblin (pictured with Joe, above, in a February photo) and several other people were also killed in the crash.
According to TMZ, the plane — which was reportedly a Cessna 501 fixed-wing aircraft — reportedly took off from Smyrna Airport just outside the Tennessee city of Nashville at some point on Saturday. It was reportedly bound for Palm Beach, Florida, but never made it that far — reports say the plane came down into nearby Percy Priest Lake not long after taking off.
Fire and rescue crews launched an all-night operation in the lake, but according to local authorities, all the passengers from the flight were found to be deceased. Families were quickly identified, and an investigation is now underway as to the cause of the crash.
The longtime actor Lara was one of seven people who were killed in the crash. Along with him and Shamblin, TMZ identifies the other five people killed as Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah, all of whom are reportedly part of the same church as Lara and Shamblin, and all locals to the same Tennessee area.
As we noted, Lara starred as the king of the jungle in a total of 22 episodes of Tarzan: The Epic Adventures from 1996 through 2000. He also was the star of a TV movie called Tarzan In Manhattan, which was released earlier and eventually catapulted him into the TV role.
He was in plenty of other film projects over the years, too. Many were in the action and science-fiction/fantasy realm, including Sunset Heat, Gunsmoke: The Last Apache, and American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. Lara also saw time on air in The Magnificent Seven, Baywatch, and Tropical Heat, among his 28 total acting credits through his long career.
He and Shamblin were married in 2018; interestingly, Gwen is famous herself for having founded Remnant Fellowship Church and the Weigh Down Workshop, which was a very popular weight loss program among churchgoers throughout the United States in the 1980s and 1990s.
Per reports, Gwen and Joe leave behind two children.
Sending all of our love and condolences to Joe and Gwen’s family, friends, and loved ones, as well as those affected by the deaths of the other people in the airplane.
So, so sad.
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