Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maddening Monkey Mystery....SOLVED !!!...Meet Jack Leonard !

Hiya gang !,
If there's on thing I love, it's solving a mystery !
Especially if the mystery is finding the identities of those hard working guys who toiled long hours in impossibly hot and heavy gorilla suits....and never got credit !!!
For over 6 years we've searched far and wide trying to find the secret Identity of THIS gorilla !

This fellow has appeared in Terry and the Pirates (1940 ) Mickey's Ape Man (1933) and  Tim Tyler's Luck (1937 )
This had not only stumped Gorilla man and myself but also the grand master of gorilla history, Bob Burns.

Thanks to (Charles Gemora) historian Jason Barnett... we have the answer ! While doing research for his upcoming  documentary about Charlie, (more to come on that !) Jason came across this article :

After a quick check into it, Jason also produced this photo :

Here Jack Leonard grapples with big Tom Tyler in "The Jungle Mystery" (1932 )

With that bit of concrete information on Jack Leonard, the members of our sister site on Facebook, Ape Suit Cinema went into action...and the info started growing. As we would compile it, we would find even more clues along the way
 As you can see, Jack Leonard's gorilla was the focal point of at least one chapter of The Jungle Mystery.

You can really see the beautiful hair work on Leonard's suit in this shot ! The proportions are fantastic as well.
Photo courtesy Craig Scott Lamb/ASC

Leonard had a second, more comical head he used with the same body later in his gorilla career.
This head was seen most prominently in Terry and the Pirates 1940.
For Terry, the ears were made more  pronounced by trimming the fur on the head shorter.
As goofy as it was, it did look kind of fun to me.

Leonard's role in Terry was huge by gorilla standards and came very close in screen time to Emil Van Horn's hefty role as "Satan" in Peril's of Nyoka .

Leonard had teamed up with the great Charles Gemora three years earlier in Tim Tyler's Luck (1937) as two rampaging gorillas locked in deadly combat !

Jack Leonard (left) Vs Charles Gemora !
Note the very distinct differences in faces. 

Jack Leonard...another lost gorilla man found !

A very special thanks to Bob Burns, Jason Barnett, Craig Scott Lamb, Chris Walas, and George Chastain, for their invaluable help solving this Monkey Man Mystery !


  1. Thanks David!
    I had lots of great help with this one!

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  3. I loved 1st episode of Terry And the Pirates . But it didn't show what Jack Leonard looked like w/o Gorilla suit.