| Newspaper articles at the time mentioned erroneously that Sheffield was only 5 years old. | He is survived by his wife, Patty, whom he married in 1959, two sons and a daughter. Child star Johnny Sheffield was the son of British actor Reginald Sheffield, himself a former juvenile performer (he played the title role in the 1913 cinemazation of David Copperfield). After he outgrew the role of Boy, the teenaged Sheffield went on to star in his own jungle movie series for Allied Artists. After Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943), Tarzan and the Amazons (1945), Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946) and Tarzan and the Huntress (1947), Sheffield, by then a big Boy, was dropped by the studio. When he was 7 years old, Sheffield was taken to an audition where Weissmuller chose him over more than 300 juvenile actors interviewed for the part of "Boy" in Tarzan Finds a Son (1939). After leaving show business, Sheffield completed a business degree at UCLA. • Johnny Sheffield (Jon Matthew Sheffield Cassan), actor, born 11 April 1931; died 15 October 2010, Child actor who played Boy, the foundling son of Tarzan and Jane, in eight Hollywood films, Sheffield with Cheeta the chimpanzee, Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan and Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane. His older sister was Mary Alice Sheffield Cassan and his younger brother was William Hart Sheffield Cassan (actor Billy Sheffield).
The almost identical plots usually included Bomba rescuing a young woman from some beast, animal or human.
In 1938, Sheffield became a child star after he was cast in the juvenile lead of a West Coast production of the highly successful Broadway play On Borrowed Time, which starred Dudley Digges and featured Victor Moore as Gramps. In his later years Johnny Sheffield lived in Southern California where he wrote articles about his Hollywood years and sold copies of the TV pilot Bantu, the Zebra Boy on video. Just hugs Rather belated New to me Hope...", "THANKSFOR THE HOURS OF ENTERMENT I SAW REPEATS WHEN I WAS LITTLE BUY I ALWAYS WANTED A FRIEND LIKE BOY,IT HURTS I NEVER GOT TO MEET HIM ,GLAD I DID KNOW BOY", "May the God of true comfort help you during this time", "We lived in the house across the street from the house that John had purchased as a rental in Yuma, AZ. John and Patricia Sheffield were married in 1959 in Yuma, Arizona.
MGM was searching for a suitable youngster to play the adopted son of Tarzan in its next jungle movie with stars Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. The following year, his father read an article in The Hollywood Reporter that asked, "Have you a Tarzan Jr. in your backyard?" Weissmuller, whom Sheffield called Big John, "was like a father to me. Child star Johnny Sheffield was the son of British actor Reginald Sheffield, himself a former juvenile performer (he played the title role in the 1913 cinemazation of David Copperfield). O'Sullivan left, citing boredom, to be replaced by Brenda Joyce. John Ford. In his later years Johnny Sheffield lived in Southern California where he wrote articles about his Hollywood years and sold copies of the TV pilot Bantu, the Zebra Boy on video. When Maureen O'Sullivan wanted out of her Jane role in the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan series, it was decided that she and Tarzan would adopt a son (they had to adopt, according to the Legion of Decency, because they weren't married) before she died.
Sheffield was born in Pasadena, California, the son of British-born Reginald Sheffield, who had also been a child actor in films, credited as Eric Desmond.
Like Weissmuller, Sheffield, who had a physical grace and a carefully arranged loincloth, had to cope with a variety of wild animals, revolting natives and dastardly white adventurers. Sheffield's wife, Patty, said that he fell from a ladder while pruning a palm tree.
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