The chimpanzee star of movies TARZAN and BEDTIME FOR BONZO is making his return to Hollywood after a four decade-long hiatus - the ape's handlers have signed a record and DVD deal and announced plans to publish a memoir on his behalf.
The 76-year-old chimp, Cheeta, starred in his last feature film Doctor Dolittle opposite Rex Harrison in 1967, and has been hailed by The Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living monkey.
And now his owner, Dan Westfall, is looking to capitalise on the Liberian-born chimp's unusual life, publishing details in a memoir entitled Me Cheeta, slated for release next year (Feb08).
Westfall tells the New York Post his pet's nine-year struggle with Type 2 diabetes has not prevented him from enjoying a full life - claiming the monkey has enjoyed married life and fathered one child.
He says, "When (Cheeta) sees the needle, he holds his hands out...He's the light of my life, and I'm the light of his."
Westfall, who cares for Cheeta at his shelter in Palm Springs, California, has also announced plans for Cheeta to take part in a music single available for download on iTunes. The record, a cover of 1976 country-music hit Convoy, will release in conjunction with the promotion of his DVD - showing Cheeta on film as he drives a buggy and eyes a bikini clad girl.
Cheeta - who has starred in 12 Tarzan movies - has tried and failed seven times to get his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
His latest attempt was denied earlier this month (19Jun08) after he failed to attract enough votes from committee members to grant him a special spot on Hollywood Boulevard in 2009.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.