Joe Lara

Joe Lara
William Joseph Lara

(1962-10-02)October 2, 1962
DiedMay 29, 2021(2021-05-29) (aged 58)
(m. 2018; died 2021)

William Joseph Lara (October 2, 1962 – May 29, 2021) was an American actor, martial artist, and musician, widely known for the role of Tarzan in the American TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.


Lara played Tarzan in the 1989 TV movie Tarzan in Manhattan and in the 1996-1997 follow-up TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures. He also appeared in numerous action films, including Steel Frontier and American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. He stopped acting after 20 years in 2002 to pursue a career in country music. At the peak of his career, Lara appeared in two action films, Armstrong and Warhead.

Personal life

In 2009, Lara became active in music.[1] He married Christian author and pastor Gwen Shamblin on August 18, 2018. He was also the father of one child with Natasha Pavlovich from their previous relationship.[2] He lived in Brentwood, Tennessee.[3]

Lara was a certificated pilot holding multi-engine commercial and instrument ratings along with a type rating for the Cessna Citation I.[4]


On May 29, 2021, Lara died when a Cessna Citation 501 I/SP registered to JL & GL Productions LP crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna. His wife, her son-in-law, and four members of the Laras' church also died in the crash.[4][5][6] The cause of the accident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.[7] Reports in the immediate aftermath of the accident indicated that Lara's aviation medical certificate had expired in 2019,[7] but Aviation International News and WSMV-TV subsequently found that Lara held a valid medical certificate when the crash occurred.[8][9] However, it is unclear who was flying the aircraft when it crashed, as another victim was a pilot although he lacked the required type rating to fly the Citation.[4][10]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Night Wars American Soldier
1992 Sunset Heat Todd
1993 American Cyborg: Steel Warrior Austin
1995 Steel Frontier Yuma Direct-to-video
1995 Hologram Man Decoda
1995 Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb Price
1995 Final Equinox Lugar
1996 Warhead Gen. Kraft
1998 Armstrong Ponytail
1999 Lima: Breaking the Silence Victor
1999 Operation Delta Force 4: Deep Fault McKinney
2000 Strike Zone Dunk Stevens Direct-to-video
2000 Very Mean Men Detective Miller
2000 Doomsdayer Jack Logan
2001 Dead Man's Run Derek
2001 Death Game Micky Haiden
2002 Starfire Mutiny Sam Talbot Direct-to-video
2018 Summer of '67 Soap Opera Actor


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Tarzan in Manhattan Tarzan Television film
1990 Gunsmoke: The Last Apache Wolf
1992 Danger Island Matt
1993 Tropical Heat Devon Madsen Episode: "Tess"
1993 Baywatch Frank Randall Episode: "Tentacles: Part 2"
1996–1997 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures Tarzan 22 episodes
1997 Operation Delta Force Johan Nash Television film
1998 Conan the Adventurer Kamikon Episode: "The Cavern"
1998 In Search of Tarzan with Jonathan Ross Self Television film
2000 The Magnificent Seven Pace McCormick Episode: "Penance"


  1. ^ "".
  2. ^ Sauber, Elaina (April 3, 2018). "Williamson parents allege judicial misconduct, say access to juvenile court recordings needed". Tennessean. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ a b c Gilbert, Gordon (June 1, 2021). "NTSB Begins Probe into Fatal Citation Accident". Aviation International News. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  5. ^ Romero, Dennis (May 29, 2021). "Diet guru Gwen Lara, husband actor Joe Lara among seven killed in plane crash". NBC News 2. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  6. ^ Barnes, Mike (May 30, 2021). "Joe Lara, Star of 'Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,' Dies in Plane Crash at 58". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Plane carrying diet guru Gwen Lara, 6 others crashes into Tennessee lake; all on board presumed dead". USA Today. May 30, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  8. ^ Gilbert, Gordon. "NTSB Begins Probe into Fatal Citation Accident". Aviation International News. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  9. ^ Finley, Jeremy (June 3, 2021). "FAA records on pilot's medical certificate clash with documentation from church". Nashville, Tennessee: WSMV-TV. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Hineman, Brinley; Humbles, Andy; Wegner, Rachel (June 1, 2021). "What to know about the plane crash that killed Christian dietitian Gwen Shamblin Lara". USA Today. Retrieved June 3, 2021.

External links


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