Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    For Steve Sipek, who grew up in Eastern Europe and immigrated to the United States, playing Tarzan on the big screen -- in films including 1972's "Tarzan and the Rainbow" -- was a dream come true. His acting career turned out to be short, but his love of big cats became a lifelong passion.
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    For nearly 40 years, Steve Sipek has shared his Florida home with tigers, lions and other big cats. Here he cavorts in a pool with one of his pets. "In the pool ... they think they're in a river attacking a crocodile," Sipek said. "They see me as an object -- 'Oh I can get this object' -- because their mind locks up. And when it locks up, you don't want to be there."
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Steve Sipek with a big cat named Bobo, which escaped the compound and was shot dead by authorities in 2004.
    Courtesy Steve Sipek
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Steve Sipek's son, Steve Jr., in bed with big cats at Sipek's Florida home in the 1970s. Today Steve Jr. lives in the western U.S.
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Steve Sipek as a young man, pictured dozing with his big cats. "If you let them know that you love them, they will accept you into their lives and they'll push that killer instinct away," Sipek said.
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Steve Sipek Jr. goes for a walk with a lion in a picture from the mid-1970s.
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Steve Sipek curls up with a tiger. "I have this sixth sense that always works for me," Sipek said. "No tiger can come with the intent to hurt me without waking me up before that happens."
    Courtesy Sipek family
  • Steve Sipek who played Tarzan and has spent decades living with tigers

    Like father, like son: Steve Sipek Jr. dozes with a tiger.
    Courtesy Sipek family
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