King Kong is a giant ape from Skull Island, a mysterious and isolated island located somewhere in the Indian Ocean. He is the last surviving member of the Megaprimatus kong species. The Megaprimatus are not native to Skull Island, but it is presumed that they evolved from the Gigantopithsis, a prehistoric species of gorilla that was bigger than modern apes and came to the island via an ancient land bridge linked to Asia.
The name Kong is given to him by the native human inhabitants of Skull Island, where the ape lives alongside other over-sized prehistoric animals such as plesiosaurs, pterodactyls, and dinosaurs. An American film crew led by Carl Denham captures Kong and takes him to New York City, where the appellation "King" is added to his name and he is exhibited as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
Kong escapes and climbs the Empire State Building in an attempt to protect Ann Darrow, an actress originally offered up to Kong as a sacrifice but for whom he later harbours feelings of affection. It is atop the building that he is shot down and killed by aircraft.
- King Kong (1933)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) Portrayed by Shoichi Hirose (through suitmation)
- King Kong Escapes (1967) Portrayed by Haruo Nakajima (through suitmation)
- King Kong (1976) Portrayed by Rick Baker (with prosthetic makeup; uncredited)
- King Kong Lives (1986) Portrayed by Peter Elliott
- King Kong (2005) Portrayed by Andy Serkis (through motion capture)