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Johnny Weissmuller



Johnny Weissmuller
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.21

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    battlefront, screenwriter, production, theatre, competitive, limelight, matinee, broadcast, refused, leads, alcohol, fans, leading, champion, fade, history
     content words:    Johnny Weissmuller, Olympic Gold, Hollywood Walk, Ape Man, Great Depression, Tarzan Escapes, Tarzan Finds, Secret Treasure, World War II, War II


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Johnny Weissmuller
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Johnny Weissmuller won five Olympic Gold medals, but that is not what he is best known for. He is most well known for his leading role as Tarzan in twelve of the Tarzan movies. There were eighteen Tarzan movies all together, and several other actors played Tarzan, but Johnny Weissmuller is the actor who is recognized as Tarzan. He has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
 
2     In 1932, Johnny starred in Tarzan the Ape Man. It was a big production, and many, many people came out to the theatre to see it. It made Johnny an instant star.
 
3     Tarzan the Ape Man was followed by another Tarzan movie, and another, and another! It was the 1930's, the time of the Great Depression, and people loved to go to a Saturday matinee at their local theatre where they could enjoy Tarzan's adventures and forget their own troubles for a few hours. They watched Tarzan Escapes, Tarzan Finds a Son, Tarzan's Secret Treasure, and more.
 
4     Johnny began the famous Tarzan yell. It became so famous that it was even recorded for broadcast to the soldiers on the battlefront during World War II. Johnny participated in World War II in a more active way, too, by training Navy recruits to swim underwater. Johnny was an excellent swimmer, so he set a good example for the sailors.
 
5     Johnny wanted to set a good example for his young fans too. He refused to do advertisements for alcohol or tobacco. He did do some advertisements, however. He was one of the first men featured on the Wheaties cereal box as part of their "Breakfast of Champions" advertising campaign.

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