Tarzan actor, Joe Lara and wife Gwen among seven dead in Tennessee plane crash

Tarzan actor Joe Lara and his Christian diet guru wife Gwen are among seven people presumed killed after a small plane crashed into a Tennessee lake.

Mr Lara, 58, was best known for playing the heroic character raised by gorillas in the 1990s TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.

His wife, 66-year-old Gwen Shamblin Lara, founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in 1999 and Christian weightloss programme The Weigh Down Workshop.

The others on board include her fellow church leaders Brandon Hannah, David and Jennifer Martin, and Jessica and Jonathan Walters, all of Brentwood, Tennessee.

Emergency personnel remove debris from a plane crash in Percy Priest Lake Sunday, May 30, 2021, near Smyrna, Tenn. A small jet carrying seven people crashed Saturday, and authorities indicated that no one on board survived.

All seven people on board the Cessna C501 jet are believed to have died after it plunged into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna, Tennessee

It crashed after taking off from nearby Smyrna Rutherford County Airport en route to Palm Beach International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Remnant Fellowship Church paid tribute to Mrs Lara, calling her a “kind, gentle, and selfless mother and wife, and a loyal, caring, supportive best friend to all” who “has a place in millions of people’s hearts around the world”.

“Her wonderful and supportive husband, Joe Lara, will also be greatly missed,” the statement read. “The other passengers who perished in the crash were Remnant Fellowship leaders who were very involved in the community and loved by many.”

Mrs Lara and her church have faced controversy, with some describing it as a cult. In 1998, she told CNN’s Larry King that she believed God had led her to become a dietitian.

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