Tarzan Actor Left Acting to Raise His Kids, Including Harvard Grad Son Who Killed Mom

In previous interviews, Ron Ely portrayed his family as close-knit and loving

Cameron Ely; Ron Ely
Photo: Myspace/Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Tarzan actor Ron Ely, whose adult son murdered his wife before being fatally shot by police, took a long break from his acting career so he could spend more time with his children.

On Tuesday night, Cameron Ely, 30, stabbed his 62-year-old mom, Valerie Ely, and then was shot by officers who responded to the family’s Hope Ranch home who deemed Cameron a “threat.”

Cameron called 911 after the killing and initially tried to blame his 81-year-old father, according to a 911 call recording obtained by The Blast.

Authorities have not commented on a potential motive for the killing.

Ron is a veteran actor who played the role of Tarzan on the TV show of that name from 1966 to 1968. He also starred in the iconic seventies show Fantasy Island and the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Iron and Bronze. More recently, he had a role in the 2014 television movie Expecting Amish.

Ron and Valerie married in the 1980s. Prior to their marriage, Valerie competed in the Miss Florida competition in 1981 while representing Miami. She went on to compete at the Miss USA beauty pageant later that year but did not win.

In past interviews Ron has portrayed his family — which includes Valerie, Cameron and Cameron’s two older sisters — as close-knit and loving.

Valerie Ely, Ron Ely
Valerie and Ron Ely. Kirsten Ely/Instagram; James Lemke Jr./WireImage

In a 2012 interview at Comic-Con with the website Fanboy Planet, Ron elaborated on his decision to leave acting to spend time with his family.

“I am fully committed to my wife and my children,” he said. “That’s why I stepped out of the business because I wanted to spend more time to raise my kids.”

In 2013, Ron told the Daily Express: “Late in life I had a young family. I decided to stop acting and work at home, as an author, that way I could be with the kids all through school and be able to attend their sports games and things.”

Ron Ely
Ron Ely as Tarzan. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

In the Comic-Con interview, Ron said he was happy that all three of his adult children were back living at home, with Cameron taking two rooms upstairs.

“It’s great in the morning. We see each other. We see each other in the evening, we see each other when they come and go. We’re always in touch,” he said.

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Cameron graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a university spokesperson told PEOPLE. In 2007, he was a quarterback on the school’s football team and was listed on the team’s roster as a freshman quarterback from Phillips Exeter Academy. He is not listed on the rosters of football teams in subsequent years.

Cameron Ely Myspace
Cameron Ely. Myspace

A 2007 Harvard Crimson article on the 2007 football recruiting class says Cameron “sports the conventional Harvard-recruited stats: a GPA above 4.0, questionable arm strength and supreme intelligence to go along with his ability to make ‘good decisions,’ according to prominent recruiting Web site Scout.com.”

The Los Angeles Times reports Cameron was a licensed security guard for the past two years.

Representatives for the Ely family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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