Jane Porter (Tarzan)
|First appearance||Tarzan of the Apes|
|Last appearance||Tarzan's Quest|
|Created by||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Aliases||Jane Clayton, Lady Greystoke|
|Relatives||Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter (father)
In the novels
Jane, an American from Baltimore, Maryland, is the love interest and later the wife of Tarzan, and subsequently the mother of their son Korak. She develops over the course of the series from a conventional damsel in distress who must be rescued from various perils, to an educated, competent and capable adventuress in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the jungles of Africa.
She first appeared in the initial Tarzan novel, Tarzan of the Apes (1912), then later reappeared in:
- the second book, The Return of Tarzan (1913)
- the third, The Beasts of Tarzan (1914)
- the fourth, The Son of Tarzan (1914)
- the fifth, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (1916)
- the seventh, Tarzan the Untamed (1920)
- the eighth, Tarzan the Terrible (1921)
- the ninth, Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1923)
- the tenth, Tarzan and the Ant Men (1924)
- the nineteenth, Tarzan's Quest (1936)
Jane also appeared in a minor role in the non-Tarzan novel The Eternal Lover (1925).
Additionally, Jane Porter is the narrator-protagonist in Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell, a 2011 novel duly authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. to commemorate the centennial celebration of Tarzan.
The most famous screen Jane was Maureen O'Sullivan, playing opposite Johnny Weissmuller in the sound film Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), and its sequels, which changed the character's name to Jane Parker, portrayed her as English rather than American, and made her and Tarzan the adoptive parents of an orphan they named "Boy". Remakes of the 1932 film (Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959) and Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)) reprised this portrayal.
She is absent in:
- Tarzan Triumphs (1943)
- Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955)
- Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957)
- Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)
- Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)
- Tarzan Goes to India (1962)
- Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963)
- Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)
- Tarzan and the Great River (1967)
- Tarzan and the Jungle Boy (1968)
- Enid Markey 1918, 1918 (Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan)
- Karla Schramm 1920, 1920 (Gene Pollar as Tarzan; P. Dempsey Tabler as Tarzan)
- Louise Lorraine 1921 (Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan)
- Dorothy Dunbar 1927 (James H. Pierce as Tarzan)
- Natalie Kingston 1929 (Frank Merrill as Tarzan)
- Maureen O'Sullivan 1932, 1934, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1942 (Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan)
- Brenda Joyce 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 (Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan; Lex Barker as Tarzan)
- Vanessa Brown 1950 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
- Virginia Huston 1951 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
- Dorothy Hart 1952 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
- Joyce MacKenzie 1953 (Lex Barker as Tarzan)
- Eve Brent 1958 (Gordon Scott as Tarzan)
- Joanna Barnes 1959 (Denny Miller as Tarzan)
- Bo Derek 1981 (Miles O'Keeffe as Tarzan)
- Andie MacDowell 1984 (Christopher Lambert as Tarzan)
- Kim Crosby 1989 (Joe Lara as Tarzan)
- Lydie Denier 1991-1994 (TV series) (Wolf Larson as Tarzan)
- Jane March 1998 (Casper Van Dien as Tarzan)
- Minnie Driver 1999 (voice – Disney's animated Tarzan (1999 film)) (Tony Goldwyn as the voice of Tarzan)
- Olivia d'Abo 2002 (voice – Disney's direct-to-video sequel and the animated TV series) (Michael T. Weiss as the voice of Tarzan)
- Sarah Wayne Callies 2003 (WB series) (Travis Fimmel as Tarzan)
- Spencer Locke 2013 (voice – Constantin Film's CGI Tarzan) (Kellan Lutz as Tarzan)
- Margot Robbie 2016 (Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan)
- Joan Burroughs Pierce 1932–1934
Jane in all but name
Three Tarzan films presented female leads who became the partner of Tarzan, but who were not named Jane, for one reason or another.
- Tarzan the Mighty (1928), starring Frank Merrill. Natalie Kingston portrays Mary Trevor, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end. A year later Miss Kingston portrayed Jane to Merrill's Tarzan in Tarzan the Tiger.
- Tarzan the Fearless (1933), starring Buster Crabbe. Jacqueline Wells portrays Mary Brooks, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end.
- Tarzan's Revenge (1938), starring Glenn Morris. Eleanor Holm portrays Eleanor Reed, who becomes Tarzan's mate at film's end. Producer Sol Lesser nixed calling the character Jane as he felt Miss Holm was so popular for her swimming exploits that audiences would not accept her playing a character not named Eleanor.
- Tarzan and the Brown Prince (1972), starring Steve Sipek. Kitty Swan portrays Irula, his mate, basically similar to Jane. During the filming of a torture scene, Sipek and Swan were tied to stakes when gasoline-soaked leaves ignited and both were seriously burned.
Essoe, Gabe, Tarzan of the Movies, 1968, Citadel Press