US authorities say Tarzan actor Ron Ely’s wife was stabbed to death in their southern California home by the couple’s son, who police subsequently shot and killed.

A Santa Barbara County sheriff’s statement says officers found 62-year-old Valerie Lundeen Ely dead with multiple stab wounds inside the house on Tuesday night.

Officers identified the suspect as the couple’s son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely, who was found outside the house after a search.

The statement says after an unspecified threat, four officers fired on Cameron Ely and he was killed.

There was no report of the 81-year-old Ron Ely being injured.

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An earlier police statement said an elderly man from the home was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Ron Ely starred in a Tarzan TV series on NBC from 1966 to 1968.

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AAP