Johnny Sheffield, who played the character Boy in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and ’40s, died on Friday at his home here. He was 79.
The cause was a heart attack several hours after he fell off a ladder while pruning a palm tree, his wife, Patty, told The Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Sheffield beat out more than 300 youngsters for the role of Boy in the 1939 movie “Tarzan Finds a Son!” and went on to co-star with Johnny Weissmuller in seven more Tarzan films.
He later played another jungle boy, Bomba, in a dozen low-budget movies but quit the business after the last one 1955. He went on to earn a business degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked for various companies and in contracting and real estate.