‘Smokey The Bandit’ and ‘Tarzan’ Actor, NFL Player Mike Henry Dead at 84-Years-Old

by Madison Miller

Mike Henry, who was known for his roles in “Smokey Bandit” and “Tarzan,” has passed away at the age of 84.

Henry passed away from chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Parkinson’s disease, according to Deadline.

Before beginning his career in acting, Henry played football as a linebacker. He started his football career at the University of Southern California before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958.

He played for several years here before going to the Los Angeles Rams in 1962. His goal of switching to the LA team was to get closer to where his acting career would eventually take off. He completely switched gears when Warner Bros. producers approached him to take on a role as Tarzan.

Mike Henry Acting Career

Henry then went on to star in “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold,” “Tarzan and the Great River,” and “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy.” Diana Millay, who was in the film with Henry, actually passed away on the same day.

In 1977, he played Junior in “Smokey and the Bandit.” He was also in both the 1981 and 1983 sequels as the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice.

Some of his other key roles were in movies and TV shows like “Skyjacked,” “Soylent Green,” “The Longest Yard,” “M*A*S*H,” “General Hospital,” and “Fantasy Island.”

He retired from his role in film and TV as a result of Parkinson’s disease in 1988. He was working behind-the-scenes for a long time before that.

Some of his last credits in the industry are for working on “Outrageous Fortune” and “Smokey and the Bandit Part 3” in the late ’80s.

His wife, Cheryl Henry said, according to Variety that, “You could not find anyone who ever spoke ill of Mike. He was one of the loveliest men ever to grace this earth.” He and his wife also had a daughter, Shannon Noble.