Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Memorium: Johnny Sheffield

I just learned today that an old favorite of mine had passed away late last week, so the first family of the cinematic "jungle" has finally been united in the after life.

Johnny Sheffield, the former child actor who played “Boy” in the Tarzan movie series starring Johnny Weissmuller in the late 1930s and '40s and later starred as Bomba the Jungle Boy in a twelve film series, has died. Sheffield died last Friday of a heart attack after he fell off a ladder while pruning a palm tree. He was 79 years old.

The curly haired Johnny Sheffield beat out more than 300 other youngsters for the role of Boy in the 1939 movie "Tarzan Finds a Son!," in which Tarzan and Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan; pictured above-top with Weissmuller & Sheffield) wind up adopting the young child whose parents were killed in a plane crash in the jungle. Between 1939 & 1947, Sheffield played the loincloth-clad Boy in eight Tarzan films, including Tarzan's Secret Treasure, Tarzan’s New York Adventure, Tarzan Triumphs, Tarzan’s Desert Mystery, Tarzan and the Amazons, and Tarzan and the Leopard Woman.

After appearing in his final Tarzan film, Tarzan and the Huntress, in 1947, Sheffield landed the starring role in the 1949 film "Bomba the Jungle Boy," the first in a dozen low-budget Bomba (pictured; right) movies made at Monogram Pictures. Upon leaving Hollywood, he earned a business degree from UCLA and eventually went into real estate.

The Catacombs extends it deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fans.

1 comment:

Mykal Banta said...

Excellent tribute to a deserving dear departed. Sweat dreams, Boy. Rest forever in the jungle made orderly by your father and mother.

Word validation: ICKINGS (no kidding)