Ben Johnson

Highest Rated: 100% The Last Picture Show (1971)
Lowest Rated: 0% Something Big (1971)
Birthday: Jun 13, 1918
Birthplace: Not Available
Born in Oklahoma of Cherokee-Irish stock, Ben Johnson virtually grew up in the saddle. A champion rodeo rider in his teens, Johnson headed to Hollywood in 1940 to work as a horse wrangler on Howard Hughes' The Outlaw. He went on to double for Wild Bill Elliot and other western stars, then in 1947 was hired as Henry Fonda's riding double in director John Ford's Fort Apache (1948). Ford sensed star potential in the young, athletic, slow-speaking Johnson, casting him in the speaking role of Trooper Tyree in both She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950). In 1950, Ford co-starred Johnson with another of his protégés, Harry Carey Jr., in Wagonmaster (1950). Now regarded as a classic, Wagonmaster failed to register at the box office; perhaps as a result, full stardom would elude Johnson for over two decades. He returned periodically to the rodeo circuit, played film roles of widely varying sizes (his best during the 1950s was the pugnacious Chris in George Stevens' Shane [1953]), and continued to double for horse-shy stars. He also did plenty of television, including the recurring role of Sleeve on the 1966 western series The Monroes. A favorite of director Sam Peckinpah, Johnson was given considerable screen time in such Peckinpah gunfests as Major Dundee (1965) and The Wild Bunch (1969). It was Peter Bogdanovich, a western devotee from way back, who cast Johnson in his Oscar-winning role: the sturdy, integrity-driven movie house owner Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show (1971). When not overseeing his huge horse-breeding ranch in Sylmar, California, Ben Johnson has continued playing unreconstructed rugged individualists in such films as My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1991) and Radio Flyer (1992), in TV series like Dream West (1986, wherein Johnson was cast as frontier trailblazer Jim Bridger), and made-for-TV films along the lines of the Bonanza revivals of the 1990s.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet English National Opera: La Traviata Actor 2015
No Score Yet Big Charity Producer 2014
No Score Yet My Christmas Soldier Actor 2006
No Score Yet Sugar Creek Gang: Secret Hideout Actor 2005
No Score Yet Dreamer: The Movie Kevin Russell 2005
No Score Yet Greendale Mate 2003
60% Beautiful Joe Gino 2000
No Score Yet Beyond Redemption Young Alex 1997
22% The Evening Star Arthur Cotton 1996
No Score Yet Ruby Jean and Joe Big Man 1995
No Score Yet Bonanza: Under Attack Bronc Evans 1995
33% Angels in the Outfield Hank Murphy 1994
No Score Yet Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart Actor 1994
No Score Yet Bonanza: The Return Bronc Evans 1993
33% Radio Flyer Geronimo Bill 1992
No Score Yet The Chase Laurienti 1991
33% My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys Jessie Dalton, Dad 1991
No Score Yet The Chase Actor 1990
No Score Yet Dark Before Dawn Sheriff 1989
40% Cherry 2000 Six Fingered Jake 1988
No Score Yet Stranger on My Land Vern Whitman 1988
No Score Yet Trespasses august Klein 1987
No Score Yet Let's Get Harry Harry Burke Sr. 1986
46% Red Dawn Mason 1984
No Score Yet Wild Horses Ward 1984
No Score Yet Champions Burly Cocks 1984
85% Tex Cole Collins 1982
No Score Yet The Shadow Riders Uncle Jack Traven 1982
No Score Yet Soggy Bottom U.S.A. Isum Gorch 1981
No Score Yet Ruckus Mr. Sam Bellows 1980
55% The Hunter Sheriff Strong 1980
33% Terror Train Carne 1980
No Score Yet The Sacketts Actor 1979
No Score Yet Wild Times Actor 1979
11% The Swarm Felix 1978
No Score Yet Grayeagle John Colter 1977
No Score Yet The Greatest Hollis 1977
40% The Town That Dreaded Sundown Capt. J.D. Morales 1976
No Score Yet The Savage Bees Sheriff Donald McKew 1976
67% Hustle Marty Hollinger 1975
75% Breakheart Pass Pearce 1975
71% Bite the Bullet Mister 1975
91% The Sugarland Express Capt. Harlin Tanner 1974
No Score Yet Kid Blue Sheriff `Mean John' Simpson 1973
92% Dillinger Melvin Purvis 1973
33% The Train Robbers Jesse 1973
85% The Getaway Jack Benyon 1972
91% Junior Bonner Buck Roan 1972
100% The Last Picture Show Sam 1971
0% Something Big Jesse Bookbinder 1971
83% Chisum James Pepper 1970
94% The Wild Bunch Tector Gorch 1969
29% The Undefeated Short Grub 1969
92% Hang 'em High Sheriff Dave Bliss 1968
85% Will Penny Alex 1968
29% The Rare Breed Jeff Harter 1966
97% Major Dundee Sgt. Chillum 1965
67% Cheyenne Autumn Trooper Plumtree 1964
No Score Yet The Bull of the West Spinner 1962
57% One-Eyed Jacks Bob Amory 1961
No Score Yet Ten Who Dared George Bradley 1960
No Score Yet Fort Bowie Capt. Thomas Thompson 1958
No Score Yet Tomboy and the Champ Uncle Jim 1958
No Score Yet War Drums Luke Fargo 1957
No Score Yet Rebel in Town Frank Mason 1956
92% Oklahoma! Cowboy at Train Depot 1955
No Score Yet Simba Kimani 1955
97% Shane Chris 1953
No Score Yet Wild Stallion Dan Light 1952
No Score Yet Fort Defiance Ben Shelby 1951
75% Rio Grande Trooper Travis Tyree 1950
100% Wagon Master Travis Blue 1950
95% Mighty Joe Young Gregg 1949
95% She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Sgt. Tyree 1949
82% Three Godfathers Members of Posse 1948
100% Fort Apache Stunt rider 1948
No Score Yet The Naughty Nineties Coach Driver 1945
89% The Outlaw Actor 1943

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet 30 for 30
2009
Appearing
  • 2012
  • 2009
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
Crown Vern Morland Hannon
  • 1971
  • 1968
  • 1966
  • 1963
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Kelly James Stan Sgt. Samuel Bellis
  • 1971
  • 1969
  • 1962
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Sheriff
  • 1958
No Score Yet The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
1952-1966
Barton
  • 1958

QUOTES FROM Ben Johnson CHARACTERS