He was an American swimmer and actor who was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal. He won fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. After his swimming career, he became the sixth actor to portray Tarzan in films, a role he played in twelve motion pictures. Dozens of other actors have also played Tarzan, but he is by far the best known. His character's distinctive, ululating Tarzan yell is still often used in films.