Johnny Weissmuller Jr., 65; Son of ‘Tarzan’ Star Was an Athlete, Actor

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Johnny Weissmuller Jr., 65, son of the famed Olympic swimmer and Tarzan actor who took after his father in both fields, died Thursday of liver cancer at a San Francisco hospital.

Born Sept. 23, 1940, in San Francisco to Johnny Weissmuller and Beryl Scott, the younger Weissmuller attended Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, UCLA and USC, where he also swam competitively.

His first acting job in movies was in the 1958 Mickey Rooney film “Andy Hardy Comes Home.” He later appeared in director George Lucas’ “THX 1138” (1971) and “American Graffiti” (1973). He also acted in the TV series “The Streets of San Francisco” and various stage productions.


Weissmuller served in the Navy, specializing in underwater demolition, worked as a longshoreman in the Bay Area and participated in several Transpac yacht races from California to Hawaii.

He also wrote a memoir published in 2002, “Tarzan, My Father.” The elder Weissmuller, who won five Olympic gold medals and starred in 12 Tarzan movies from 1932 to 1948, was 79 when he died in Acapulco in 1984.