Johnny Sands, who started as a movie theater usher and rose to acting in more than a dozen films alongside Cary Grant and Shirley Temple, died Dec. 30 at his home in Ainaloa, Hawaii. He was 76.
Born Elbert Harp Jr. in Lorenzo, Texas, he left home at 13 and hitchhiked to Hollywood, where he had acted in school plays and, after working as an usher, was spotted by a talent scout on his way to the beach.
Choosing his stage name for his love of the beach, Sands made his screen debut in “The Stranger” in 1946 starring Orson Welles, Loretta Young and Edward G. Robinson. The same year, he appeared in the romantic comedy “Affairs of Geraldine” and “Till the End of Time,” starring Guy Madison, Robert Mitchum and Dorothy McGuire.
He was best known for his 1947 role of teenage Shirley Temple’s boyfriend in “The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer,” and as Aladdin in the 1952 film “Aladdin and His Lamp.”
He moved in 1970 to Honolulu, where he became a real estate agent and retired in 1991.