Arte Johnson

Arte Johnson

Highest Rated: 77% The President's Analyst (1967)

Lowest Rated: 29% Evil Toons (1991)

Birthday: Jan 20, 1929

Birthplace: Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA

Arte Johnson essentially appeared in every major TV comedy of the 1960s but was best-known for playing "Very interesting" chain-smoking German soldier Wolfgang and lecherous old man Tyrone in iconic sketch show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973). Born in Benton Harbor, MI in 1929, Arte Johnson studied radio journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before relocating to New York where he worked as a calendar company writer and publicist for Viking Press. He stumbled into the showbiz world almost by accident, landing the role of an aging Frenchman in a production of "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" during a spontaneous lunch break audition. Johnson went on to appear in several other stage productions on and off Broadway and showcase his improv talents on the Big Apple's comedy circuit. After making his screen debut in anthology "Max Liebman Spectaculars" (NBC, 1954-56), Johnson enjoyed multiple appearances as delivery boy Stanley in sitcom "It's Always Jan" (CBS, 1955-56), a feature film debut in WWII tale "Miracle in the Rain" (1956) and a recurring role as Gale Gordon's son in the short-lived "Sally" (NBC, 1957-58). Johnson went on to rack up dozens of TV guest spots in the following decade, most memorably as a frustrated car salesman in "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1959-1964) episode "The Whole Truth," Samantha's cousin Edgar in "Bewitched" (ABC, 1964-1972) and a double-crossing pirate in "Lost in Space" (CBS, 1965-68). He also enjoyed recurring roles as a seaman in "Hennessey" (CBS, 1959-1962) and corporal in "Don't Call Me Charlie" (NBC, 1962-63) and appeared on the big screen as writer Ariel Lavalerra in Jack Kerouac adaptation "The Subterraneans" (1960), murderer Lester Aldrich in thriller "The Third Day" (1965) and ruthless federal agent Sullivan in satire "The President's Analyst" (1967). However, Johnson's true big break occurred when he joined the cast of sketch show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973). Arte originated numerous characters during his Emmy-winning four-year stint but his most popular by far were Tyrone, a dirty old man who would constantly pester Ruth Buzzi's benchwarmer Gladys, and Wolfgang, a German cigarette-smoking soldier convinced that World War II hadn't ended who became renowned for his catchphrase, "Very interesting." Johnson continued his prolific streak into the 1970s, landing his own NBC special, guesting on hugely popular shows "The Partridge Family" (ABC, 1970-74), "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-78) and "The Dukes of Hazzard" (CBS, 1979-1985) and starring as Dracula's sidekick Renfield in vampire spoof "Love at First Bite" (1979). He also hosted game show "Knockout" (NBC, 1977-78), became a regular on "Match Game" (CBS, 1973-79) and "Hollywood Squares" (Syndication, 1972-1981), and provided voiceovers for animated shows "The Houndcats" (NBC, 1972) and "Baggy Pants & the Nitwits" (NBC, 1977), the latter a spin-off from his "Laugh-In" days. Johnson subsequently became an in-demand voiceover artist in the 1980s, adding the likes of "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo" (ABC, 1985), "The Flintstone Kids" (ABC, 1986-88) and "The Smurfs" (NBC, 1981-89) to his list of credits. He also appeared in front of cameras as a pilot in "Cannonball Run II" (1983), The Dormouse in "Alice in Wonderland" (1985) and a magazine publisher in Aaron Spelling's "Glitter" (CBS, 1984-85) as well as portraying Harry Houdini in kids adventure "A Night at the Magic Castle" (1988). After appearing in horrors "Evil Spirits" (1990) and "Evil Toons" (1992), Johnson showed up in family movie "Captiva Island" (1995), took top billing as Dr. Josef Stiggens in sci-fi comedy "Second Chance" (1996). His last on-screen role was Grumpy Old Man in "The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1998), while he officially retired from the industry following his final voiceover credit, Virmin Vundabar in "Justice League Unlimited" (Cartoon Network, 2004-06). Following a lengthy battle with prostate and bladder cancer, Johnson died of heart failure in Los Angeles in 2019 aged 90.

Highest rated movies

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Second Chance Dr. Josef Stiggens (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet 40% Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective Witherspoon (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Captiva Island Ernie (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 40% Munchie Prof. Cruikshank (Character) - 1992
29% 25% Evil Toons Mr. Hinchlow (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Evil Spirits Lester Potts (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective Pedro Criqui (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tax Season Mr. Goldberg (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet 73% Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers Farquard/Skull Ghost (Character) - 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet What Comes Around Malone (Character) - 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Making of a Male Model Marty Sampson (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Detour to Terror Harry Edwards (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet If Things Were Different Allen Dunn (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet Charge of the Model Ts Doc Bailey (Character) - 1979
68% 55% Love at First Bite Renfield (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bud and Lou Eddie Sherman (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Twice in a Lifetime Ron Talley (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 88% Bear Who Slept Through Christmas Unknown (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Triple Play II Unknown (Character) - 1972
77% 78% The President's Analyst Sullivan (Character) - 1967
No Score Yet 72% That Funny Feeling Paul (Character) - 1965
No Score Yet 25% The Third Day Lester Aldrich (Character) - 1965
No Score Yet 70% Miracle in the Rain Monty (Character) - 1956

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mad About You Himself (Guest Star) 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Parker Lewis Unknown (Guest Star) 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures Unknown (Guest Star) 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Night Court Unknown (Character) 1990
No Score Yet 96% DuckTales Count Ray (Guest Voice) 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Unknown (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Glitter Clive Richlin (Character) 1984-1985
No Score Yet 70% The A-Team Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo Unknown (Voice) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Airwolf Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Trapper John, M.D. Unknown (Guest Star) 1984
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hotel Unknown (Guest Star) 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fame Unknown (Guest Star) 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fantasy Island Unknown (Guest Star) 1978-1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Password 79 Guest 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Norm Crosby's Comedy Shop Guest 1979-1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dukes of Hazzard Irving (Guest Star) 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kojak Unknown (Guest Star) 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Love Boat Unknown (Guest Star) 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tattletales Guest 1975-1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rookies Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Here's Lucy Unknown (Guest Star) 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bobby Darin Show Guest 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Unknown (Character) 1968-1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Partridge Family Morris Tinkler (Guest Star) 1972-1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Houndcats Rhubarb (Voice) 1972
No Score Yet 100% Night Gallery Unknown (Character) 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sesame Street Unknown (Guest Star) 1970
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1969
No Score Yet No Score Yet I Dream of Jeannie Himself (Guest Star) 1969
No Score Yet 71% Lost in Space Fedor (Guest Star) 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dick Van Dyke Show Bill Schermerhorn (Guest Star) 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bewitched Cousin Edgar (Guest Star) 1965
No Score Yet No Score Yet McHale's Navy Unknown (Guest Star) 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show Hotel Clerk (Guest Star) 1962
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dr. Kildare Unknown (Guest Star) 1962
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown (Character) 1961
82% 95% The Twilight Zone Irv (Character) 1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown (Character) 1959

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