Lex Barker

From Academic Kids

Lex Barker (May 8, 1919 - May 11, 1973) was born Alexander Crichlow Barker, Jr. in Rye, New York and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1938. He is best known as the tenth actor to play Tarzan in the movies, and starred in nearly thirty movies in the 1940s and 1950s. During this time he enlisted to fight in World War II and eventually rose to the rank of Major.

In 1957, as he found it harder and harder to find work in American films, Lex moved to Europe and found popularity and starred in over forty European films, especially in Germany. There he also starred in two movies based on the Doctor Mabuse-stories (formerly filmed by Fritz Lang) and in 13 movies based on novels by German author Karl May (1842-1912). There he was playing the characters of Old Shatterhand, Kara Ben Nemsi and Dr. Sternau.

He even recorded a single with the composer of some of the Karl-May-movie-soundtracks, Martin Boettcher, in German language. The tracks are named " Ich bin morgen auf dem Weg zu dir" (I'll be on the way to you tomorrow) and "Mädchen in Samt und Seide" (Girls in Velvet and Silk), the last one is said to have been very much liked by elderly ladies at that time. (The co-star in some of Barker's Karl-May-movies, French actor Pierre Brice, also recorded in German language and even managed to get some CDs of his own.)

In 1966 Barker was awarded with the "Bambi Award" as "Best Foreign Actor" in Germany.

He married five times:

  1. Constanze Thurlow (1942 - 1950) (divorced)
  2. Arlene Dahl (1951 - 1952) (divorced)
  3. Lana Turner (8 September 1953 - 22 July 1957) (divorced)
  4. Irene Labhardt (1957 - 1962) (marriage ended at her death)
  5. Maria del Carmen Cervera (1965 - 1972) (divorce not valid, marriage ended with his death), who later became the fifth wife of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza

He was engaged at the time of his death to actress Karen Kondazian.

Barker continued to work in films until his last appearance in 1967's Woman Times Seven.

He died three days after his 54th birthday of a heart attack in New York City. His son Christopher Barker also became an actor.


  • Ich bin morgen auf dem Weg zu dir / Mädchen wie Samt und Seide

1965, Single, Decca D 19 725

  • Winnetou du warst mein Freund

1996, CD, Bear Family Records BCD 15 984 AH (http://www.bear-family.de/mailorder/showoneproduct.html?lang=&p=BCD+15984)
(contains both single tracks and the singing-merits of Pierre Brice as well)


  • Reiner Boller, Christina Böhme: Lex Barker - Die Biografie. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag, Germany, 2003, 480 pages. ISBN 3-896-024-442
  • Manfred Christ: Von Tarzan bis Old Shatterhand - Lex Barker und seine Filme, Günter Albert Ulmer Verlag, Tuningen, Germany, 1994, 288 pages - ISBN 3924191816

External link



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