A US animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee from the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s has died at age 80, according to NEWS.com.au.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida announced that Cheetah had died on December 24 of kidney failure.

Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Tuesday told The Tampa Tribune that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned into human feelings.

Cheetah was the comic relief in the Tarzan series starring American Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller.

Cobb says Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller`s estate sometime around 1960.

Cobb says Cheetah wasn`t a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest says that when the chimp didn`t like what was going on, he would throw faeces.