In a shocking incident, popular American actor Joe Lara, widely known for playing the iconic fictional character Tarzan, is presumed dead after a plane crash in Tennessee. He was 58. Lara was one among the seven people killed when the Laras' Cessna C501 light aircraft crashed into a lake near to the town of Smyrna on Saturday. The actor's wife, Gwen Shamblin Lara, a dietician and a founder of a weight-loss church, was also traveling in the flight and is now presumed dead with the others as rescue workers have confirmed that they have found wreckage and human remains at the site.

According to officials, the small jet in which Joe Lara and the others were traveling, had taken off from Smyrna airport en route to Palm Beach, Florida, when it crashed at around 11:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Saturday. The aircraft had gone down into Percy Priest Lake, about 12 miles (19km) south of Nashville. Apart from Mr and Mrs. Lara, Mrs Laras' son-in-law, Brandon Hannah, and the couples Jennifer and David Martin, and Jessica and Jonathan Walters, were also on board the private plane. Officials added that they had shifted from conducting rescue operations to recovery efforts after there were no signs of any survivors. They added that they had come across "several components of the aircraft as well as human remains." 

Joe Lara is known for playing the lead role in the 1989 TV film, Tarzan in Manhattan, with the actor reprising his role in the follow-up TV series, Tarzan: The Epic Adventures and subsequently gave up acting in 2002 to pursue a career in country music. His wife, Gwen, 66, launched a Christian weight-loss group called Weigh Down Ministries in 1986 and wrote a best-selling faith-based weight-loss book, in which she appealed to the people to "turn away from the love of food and towards the love of God." Her website reads that she also founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood in 1999.