Van Johnson
Actor
Van Johnson
Van Johnson was an American film and television actor and dancer who was a major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios during and after World War II.
Biography
Van Johnson's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Van Johnson
News
News abour Van Johnson from around the web
Alderman wants Savannah City Council to hire its own auditor - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
This time, Alderman Van Johnson is calling for the change. He's ready to present the idea at council's Thursday meeting. It follows discussion at a financial retreat Thursday. Council members were unaware of a 2008 study of police facilities they
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Savannah City Council demands tighter controls on consulting studies - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
Alderman Van Johnson questioned whether the city needed to place more restrictions on the information it released. The Savannah Morning News obtained the report by Precision Planning Inc. last month through an Open Records request to the city of
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Upper Room star Rodney Purvis re-opens recruiting, releases list - Charlotte Observer
Google News - over 5 years
Van Johnson, owner of Baseline Hoop Sports scouting service, said Purvis will remain a hot commodity. "He's extremely talented, knows how to score," Johnson said. "He's one of the top players in the nation. Not sure if he's a point guard
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Leaders Urged To Preserve Community Policing Gains - Black Voice News
Google News - over 5 years
“Two years ago the then new chief proclaimed “We're in this together”, a lot of people in the community that I represent were angry with the police department,” recalls 6th Ward City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson. “I introduced him at a Town Hall
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Hey Tehachapi! someone is stealing precious fruit - Tehachapi News
Google News - over 5 years
My favorite movie of all time is “The Human Comedy” starring Mickey Rooney, Van Johnson and Donna Reed. It was made in the 40's about a family near Tehachapi struggling to keep their family together during World War II
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EDITORIAL: City Council: Don't play Santa - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
Mayor Otis Johnson, Alderman Van Johnson and City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney supported a proposal to spend another $2.1 million to boost the paychecks of city employees, provided the additional money could be found in this year's remaining budget
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Candidates qualify for San Bernardino ballot - Inland Empire News
Google News - over 5 years
Ward 6 Councilman Rikke Van Johnson and City Treasurer David Kennedy have no challengers. The race for City Attorney may generate the most heat. Former county supervisor, judge and public defender David McKenna hopes to turn incumbent Jim Penman out of
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Savannah council plans for employee bonuses - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
If that much in additional savings could be achieved in the 2011 budget by the end of the year, Small-Toney, Mayor Otis Johnson and Alderman Van Johnson voiced support for awarding the bonuses. The mayor called it a chance to give workers an early
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Savannah Council coached on Open Meetings, records law - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
Alderman Van Johnson and City Attorney James Blackburn agreed afterward that Weed's assessment showed council's actions were right. The alderman agreed Weed's opinions were different from the Attorney General's Office. “His detailed citings of case law
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ON THE RECORD: Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday and the London Music Man - Playbill.com
Google News - over 5 years
Listening to the first full album of the 1938 Kurt Weill musical Knickerbocker Holiday and the original 1961 London cast album of The Music Man starring Van Johnson. They don't write them, it is safe to say, like this anymore
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The new history requirement - Lake County Record-Bee
Google News - over 5 years
Charles Laughton, Van Johnson, Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter were gay. For writers, what about Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote? The list goes on and on. But the important thing is that these people and others like them,
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Incumbents step up to re-election plate - Inland Empire News
Google News - over 5 years
They are Chas Kelley and Rikke Van Johnson. City Treasurer David Kennedy will also seek re-election. City Clerk Rachael Clark is retiring at the end of the year. Two candidates are seeking her job. (INT)
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Elaine Stewart - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Elaine Stewart, who died on June 26 aged 81, became a prominent Hollywood leading lady in the 1950s, starring opposite Gene Kelly and Van Johnson in Brigadoon and as a voluptuous harem princess in The Adventures of Hajji Baba (both 1954)
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Mother arraigned in son's death - Brownsville Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Justice of the Peace Kip Van Johnson Hodge pronounced Francisco dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy. Sheriff's deputies received a call at 3:01 pm of an unresponsive child, Lucio said. Medical personnel were sent to the scene but were unable to
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Van Johnson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2008
    Age 91
    After having been ill and receiving hospice care for the previous year, he died there on December 12, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Wendy Bleisweiss, a close friend, indicated that he died of natural causes. His body was cremated. Johnson was never nominated for an Academy Award and, during the height of his career, was noted mainly for his cheerful screen presence. Reflecting on his career after his death, one critic observed that Johnson was "capable of an Oscar-worthy performance, and that's more than most movie stars can claim." For his contribution to the film industry, Johnson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6600 Hollywood Blvd. For a number of years film exhibitors voted Johnson among the most popular stars in the country:
  • 2002
    Age 85
    Johnson lived in a penthouse in the Sutton Place area of East 54th Street on Manhattan's East Side until 2002, when he moved to Tappan Zee Manor, an assisted living facility in Nyack, New York.
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  • 1992
    Age 75
    Johnson made occasional World War II movies through the end of the 1960s, and he played a military officer in one of his final feature films, in 1992.
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  • 1985
    Age 68
    In 1985, returning to Broadway for the first time since Pal Joey, he was cast in the starring role of the musical La Cage aux Folles.
    More Details Hide Details In that same year he appeared in a supporting role in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo. At the age of 75, now grey and rotund, he toured in Show Boat as Captain Andy. His last film appearance was in Three Days to a Kill (1992). In 2003, he appeared with Betsy Palmer for three performances of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters at a theater in Wesley Hills, New York.
  • 1982
    Age 65
    He also appeared in a special 2 part episode of The Love Boat, "The Musical: My Ex-Mom; The Show Must Go On; The Pest, Parts 1 and 2" which aired on February 27, 1982, and co-starred Ann Miller, Ethel Merman, Della Reese, Carol Channing, and Cab Calloway, as the retired showbiz stars related to the cast of the show.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1970s, after twice fighting bouts of cancer, Johnson began a second career in summer stock and dinner theater.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1976
    Age 59
    He played a lead character in the 1976 miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, and was nominated for a prime time Emmy Award for that role.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1980s, he appeared on an episode of Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote along with June Allyson.
  • FORTIES
  • 1966
    Age 49
    Johnson also guest-starred on Batman as "The Minstrel" in two episodes (39 and 40) in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1970s, he appeared on Here's Lucy, Quincy, M.E., McMillan & Wife and Love, American Style.
  • 1961
    Age 44
    The Johnsons separated in 1961 and their divorce was finalized in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details According to a statement by his former wife that was first published after his death at age 92, their marriage had been engineered by MGM: "They needed their 'big star' to be married to quell rumors about his sexual preferences and unfortunately, I was 'It' - the only woman he would marry." Johnson's biographer, Ronald L. Davis, has written that the actor's homosexual proclivities were well known within the film industry, but that these were covered up due to a general regard for the privacy of a fellow performer and studio executive Louis B. Mayer's efforts to quash any scandal. In contrast to his "cheery Van" screen image, Johnson was reputed by his former wife to be morose and moody because of his difficult early life. She reported that he had little tolerance for unpleasantness and would stride into his bedroom at the slightest hint of trouble. He had a difficult relationship with his father and was estranged from his daughter at the time of his death.
    In 1961 Johnson traveled to England to star in Harold Fielding's production of The Music Man at the Adelphi Theatre in London.
    More Details Hide Details The show enjoyed a successful run of almost a year with Johnson playing the arduous leading role of Harold Hill to great acclaim.
  • 1960
    Age 43
    Johnson guest starred as Joe Robertson, with June Allyson and Don Rickles, in the 1960 episode "The Women Who" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson.
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  • 1959
    Age 42
    In 1959, Johnson turned down an opportunity to star as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables, which went on to become a successful television series with Robert Stack in the Ness role.
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    On February 19, 1959, Johnson appeared in the episode "Deadfall" of CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater in the role of Frank Gilette, a former outlaw falsely charged with bank robbery.
    More Details Hide Details He is framed by Hugh Perry, a corrupt prosecutor played by Harry Townes, and Deputy Stover, portrayed by Bing Russell. Convicted of the robbery, Gilette is captured by outlaws while on his way to prison, and the sheriff, Roy Lamont, portrayed by Grant Withers, is killed.
  • 1957
    Age 40
    Baby boomers still fondly recall his appearance as the title character of highly rated "spectacular" the 1957 made-for-television film The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a musical version of Robert Browning's poem.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1956
    Age 39
    He received favorable critical notices for the 1956 dramatic film Miracle in the Rain, co-starring Jane Wyman, in which he played a good-hearted young soldier preparing to go to war, and in the mystery 23 Paces to Baker Street, in which he played a blind playwright residing in London.
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  • 1954
    Age 37
    He enjoyed critical acclaim for his performance in 1954 as Lt. Steve Maryk in The Caine Mutiny.
    More Details Hide Details He refused to allow concealment of his facial scars when being made up as Maryk, believing they enhanced the character's authenticity. One commentator noted years later that "Humphrey Bogart and Jose Ferrer chomp up all the scenery in this maritime courtroom drama, but it's Johnson's character, the painfully ambivalent, not-too-bright Lieutenant Steve Maryk, who binds the whole movie together." Time commented that Van Johnson "... was a better actor than Hollywood usually allowed him to be." Johnson played himself on I Love Lucy in which he sang and danced with Lucille Ball in one of the episodes set in Hollywood. During the 1950s, Johnson continued to appear in films and also appeared frequently in television guest appearances, including "Whats's My Line?", as a celebrity mystery guest on the 22 November 1953.
    Johnson was one of several major stars dropped by MGM in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details His final appearances for the studio were in The Last Time I Saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor and co-starring in Brigadoon with Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly.
  • 1947
    Age 30
    Johnson married former stage actress Eve Abbott (May 6, 1914 – October 10, 2004) on January 25, 1947, the day after her divorce from actor Keenan Wynn was finalized.
    More Details Hide Details In 1948, the newlyweds had a daughter, Schuyler. By this marriage, Johnson had two stepsons, Edmond Keenan (Ned) and Tracy Keenan Wynn.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1945
    Age 28
    In 1945, Johnson tied with Bing Crosby as the top box office stars chosen yearly by the National Association of Theater Owners.
    More Details Hide Details But he fell off the list as other top Hollywood stars returned from wartime service. As a musical comedy performer, Johnson appeared in five films each with Allyson and Williams. His films with Allyson included the musical Two Girls and a Sailor (1944) and the mystery farce Remains to Be Seen (1953). With Williams, he made the comedy Easy to Wed (1946) and the musical comedy Easy to Love (1953). He also starred with Judy Garland in In the Good Old Summertime (1949), and teamed with Gene Kelly as the sardonic second lead of Brigadoon (1954). Johnson continued to appear in war movies after the war ended, including Battleground (1949), an account of the Battle of the Bulge, and Go for Broke! (1951), in which he played an officer leading Japanese-American troops of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe.
  • 1943
    Age 26
    Johnson's big break was in A Guy Named Joe, starring Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne, in which he played a young pilot who acquires a deceased pilot as his guardian angel. Midway through the movie's production in 1943, Johnson was involved in a serious car accident that left him with a metal plate in his forehead and a number of scars on his face that the plastic surgery of the time could not completely correct or conceal; he used heavy makeup to hide them for years.
    More Details Hide Details When the crash happened, Johnson's scalp was nearly sheared off. The closest rescue units responded, but because the accident happened just over the local county line, the rescuers had to stop at the county line and could not help him. Johnson had to slap his scalp into place and literally crawl nearly 50 yards to get to the rescue workers for aid. MGM wanted to replace him in A Guy Named Joe, but Tracy insisted that Johnson be allowed to finish the picture, despite his long absence. The injury exempted Johnson from service in World War II. With many actors serving in the armed forces, the accident greatly benefited Johnson's career. He later said, "There were five of us. There was Jimmy Craig, Bob Young, Bobby Walker, Peter Lawford, and myself. All tested for the same part all the time". Johnson was very busy, often playing soldiers; "I remember... finishing one Thursday morning with June Allyson and starting a new one Thursday afternoon with Esther Williams. I didn't know which branch of the service I was in!" MGM built up his image as the all-American boy in war dramas and musicals, with his most notable starring role as Ted Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, which told the story of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942.
    Johnson subsequently appeared in Pilot No. 5 (1943) and in William Saroyan's The Human Comedy, which was produced in 1943, and in the title role in Two Girls and a Sailor.
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  • 1942
    Age 25
    Shortly before leaving Warner, he was cast as a cub reporter opposite Faye Emerson in the 1942 film Murder in the Big House.
    More Details Hide Details His eyebrows and hair were dyed black for the role. Johnson's tenure at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer began when he was awarded the role of Dr. Randall Adams in Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant and Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case in the popular Dr. Kildare movie series. As with other contract players at MGM, Johnson was provided with classes in acting, speech, and diction.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1936
    Age 19
    After touring New England in a theatre troupe as a substitute dancer, his acting career began in earnest in the Broadway revue New Faces of 1936.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson returned to the chorus after that, and worked in summer resorts near New York City. In 1939, director and playwright George Abbott cast him in Rodgers and Hart's Too Many Girls in the role of a college boy and as understudy for all three male leads. After an uncredited role in the film adaptation of Too Many Girls (which costarred Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz), Abbott hired him as a chorus boy and Gene Kelly's understudy in Pal Joey. Johnson was about to move back to New York when Lucille Ball took him to Chasen's Restaurant, where she introduced him to MGM casting director Billy Grady, who was sitting at the next table. This led to screen tests by Hollywood studios. His test at Columbia Pictures was unsuccessful, but Warner Brothers put him on contract at $300 a week. His all-American good looks and easy demeanor were ill-suited to the gritty movies Warner made at the time, and the studio dropped him at the expiration of his six-month contract.
  • 1935
    Age 18
    Johnson performed at social clubs in Newport while in high school. He moved to New York City after graduating from high school in 1935 and joined an off-Broadway revue, Entre Nous (1935).
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1916
    Born
    Born on August 25, 1916.
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