Johnny Weissmuller wasn’t the only swimming Olympian to play Tarzan. There was also Clarence “Buster” Crabbe.
Crabbe and Weissmuller knew each other before their Hollywood days and were competitive.
Crabbe developed his swimming (and surfing) prowess while growing up on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii. His athleticism didn’t stop there. He was even the light-heavyweight boxing champion at the University of Hawaii, according to his Los Angeles Times 1983 obituary.
Crabbed competed on the United States Olympic team with Weissmuller at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. Crabbe won a bronze medal for the men’s 1500 meter freestyle.
But in 1932 Crabbe’s luck changed. He competed again at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and this time won a gold medal for the men’s 400 meter freestyle.