Van Johnson - Rotten Tomatoes

Van Johnson

Highest Rated:   100% Divorce American Style (1967)
Lowest Rated:   50% Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Newport, Rhode Island, USA
The quintessential blue-eyed, blonde-haired, freckle-faced Boy Next Door, Van Johnson was the son of a Rhode Island plumbing contractor. Making his Broadway bow in The New Faces of 1936, Johnson spent several busy years as a musical-comedy chorus boy. After understudying Gene Kelly in Pal Joey, he came to Hollywood to recreate his minor role in the film version of the Broadway musical hit Too Many Girls. Proving himself an able actor in the Warner Bros. "B" picture Murder in the Big House (1942), Johnson was signed by MGM, where he was given the traditional big buildup. He served his MGM apprenticeship as Lew Ayres' replacement in the "Dr. Kildare" series, latterly known as the "Dr. Gillespie" series, in deference to top-billed Lionel Barrymore. While en route to a preview showing of an MGM film, Johnson was seriously injured in an auto accident. This proved to be a blessing in disguise to his career: the accident prevented his being drafted into the army, thus he had the young leading-man field virtually to himself at MGM during the war years. Delivering solid dramatic performances in such major productions as The Human Comedy (1943) A Guy Named Joe (1943) and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), Johnson rapidly became a favorite with the public--particularly the teenaged female public. He remained a favorite into the 1950s, alternating serious characterizations with lightweight romantic fare. One of his best roles was Lt. Maryk in The Caine Mutiny (1954), for which he was loaned to Columbia. When his MGM contract came to an end, Johnson free-lanced both in Hollywood and abroad. He also made his London stage debut as Harold Hill in The Music Man, a role he'd continue to play on the summer-theater circuit well into the 1970s. His TV work included the lead in the elaborate 1957 musical version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin (released theatrically in 1961) and his "special guest villain" turn as The Minstrel on Batman (1967). He staged a film comeback as a character actor in the late 1960s, earning excellent reviews for his work in Divorce American Style (1967). And in the mid-1980s, Van Johnson again proved that he still had the old star quality, first as one of the leads in the short-lived TVer Glitter, then in a gently self-mocking role in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and finally as Gene Barry's replacement in the hit Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles (1985).

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet La battaglia d'Inghilterra (Eagles Over London)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Clowning Around
  • Neville Rathnow
1992
No Score Yet Three Days to a Kill
  • Comm. Howard
1991
No Score Yet Delta Force Commando 2
  • General John McCailland
1990
91% The Purple Rose of Cairo
  • Larry
1985
No Score Yet Assassinio al cimitero etrusco (Scorpion with Two Tails) (Murder in an Etruscan Cemetery)
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet Horrible (Rosso sangue) (Absurd) (Monster Hunter) (Antropophagus 2) (The Grim Reaper 2)
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet El Secuestro del Presidente
  • Vice President Ethan Richards
1980
No Score Yet From Corleone to Brooklyn (Da Corleone a Brooklyn)
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Concorde Affair
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet L'occhio del ragno
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Eagles over London
  • Air Marshal George Taylor
1970
No Score Yet Il Prezzo del potere (Texas) (The Price of Power)
  • James Garfield
1969
50% Yours, Mine and Ours
  • Darrel
1968
No Score Yet Where Angels Go---Trouble Follows!
  • Father Chase
1968
100% Divorce American Style
  • Al Yearling
1967
No Score Yet The Doomsday Flight
  • Captain Anderson
1966
No Score Yet The Enemy General
  • Allan Lemaire
1960
No Score Yet The Last Blitzkrieg
  • Sergeant Richardson/Kroner
1959
No Score Yet The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Pied Piper
1957
No Score Yet Action of the Tiger
  • Carson
1957
No Score Yet 23 Paces to Baker Street
  • Phillip Hannon
1956
No Score Yet Miracle in the Rain
  • Pvt. Arthur Hugenon
1956
No Score Yet The Bottom of the Bottle (Beyond the River)
  • Donald Martin / Eric Bell
1956
83% Brigadoon
  • Jeff Douglas
1954
92% The Caine Mutiny
  • Lt. Steve Maryk
1954
No Score Yet Men of the Fighting Lady (Panther Squadron)
  • Lt. Howard Thayer
1954
No Score Yet Siege at Red River
  • Jim Farraday
1954
88% The Last Time I Saw Paris
  • Charles Wills
1954
No Score Yet The End of the Affair
  • Maurice Bendrix
1954
No Score Yet Easy to Love
  • Ray Lloyd
1953
No Score Yet Plymouth Adventure
  • John Alden
1952
No Score Yet Washington Story, (Target for Scandal)
  • Joseph T. Gresham
1952
No Score Yet Too Young to Kiss
  • Eric Wainwright
1952
No Score Yet Invitation
  • Daniel I. "Dan" Pierce
1952
No Score Yet It's a Big Country
  • Rev. Adam Burch
1951
No Score Yet Go for Broke!
  • Lt. Michael Grayson
1951
No Score Yet Three Guys Named Mike
  • Michael Lawrence
1951
No Score Yet Duchess of Idaho
  • Dick Layne
1950
60% The Big Hangover
  • David Muldon
1950
100% Battleground
  • Holley
1949
71% In the Good Old Summertime
  • Andrew Larkin
1949
No Score Yet Scene of the Crime
  • Mike Conovan
1949
No Score Yet Command Decision
  • Technical Sergeant Immanuel T. Evans
1948
No Score Yet State of the Union
  • 'Spike' McManus
1948
No Score Yet The Bride Goes Wild
  • Actor
1948
No Score Yet Romance of Rosy Ridge
  • Henry Carson
1947
No Score Yet High Barbaree
  • Alec Brooke
1947
100% Till the Clouds Roll By
  • Band Leader
1947
No Score Yet Easy to Wed
  • Bill Stevens Chandler
1946
75% Ziegfeld Follies
  • Guest
1946
No Score Yet Weekend at the Waldorf
  • Capt. James Hollis
1945
No Score Yet Thrill of a Romance
  • Maj. Thomas Milvaine
1945
No Score Yet A Guy Named Joe
  • Ted Randall
1944
No Score Yet The White Cliffs of Dover
  • Sam Bennett
1944
No Score Yet Two Girls and a Sailor
  • John Dyckman Brown III
1944
100% Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
  • Capt. Ted Lawson
1944
83% Madame Curie
  • Reporter
1943
No Score Yet The War Against Mrs. Hadley
  • Michael Fitzpatrick
1943
No Score Yet Pilot No. 5
  • Everett Arnold
1943
80% The Human Comedy
  • Marcus Macauley
1943
No Score Yet Somewhere I'll Find You
  • Lt. Wayne Halls
1942
No Score Yet Too Many Girls
  • Boy No. 41
1940

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Batman
1966-1968
  • The Minstrel
  • 1966

Quotes from Van Johnson's Characters

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