Born Otto Poll, he worked as a New Jersey cop before he found work in the movies.
Frank Merrill won 58 National, Southern California and Los Angeles championships in gymnastics (Roman rings, high bars and rope climbing). He was national gymnastics champion from 1916 to 1918.
Prior to his roles as the fifth Tarzan, he worked as a stuntman, doubling for Elmo Lincoln in the 1921 "Adventures of Tarzan". His first starring role was in "Perils of the Jungle" for Weiss Brother Artclass Productions. The director of that movie offered him the job of Tarzan when the man who already had the job (Joe Bonono, already billed as "the greatest of all Tarzans") fractured his leg and broke his contract.
Merrill invented the vine-