Van Johnson

A fresh-faced leading man of Hollywood's Golden Age, Van Johnson was born in Newport, R.I., on Aug. 25, 1916. A car accident in his 20s left Johnson unable to serve during World War II, but his injuries proved a boon to his career, allowing him to step into roles left vacant by more established stars who were fighting overseas.

Handsome and likable, Johnson played well in a variety of genres, packing his résumé with comedies, dramas, war movies and musicals. In 1954 alone, he starred opposite Humphrey Bogart as a dutiful submarine officer in The Caine Mutiny, a journalist in love with Elizabeth Taylor in The Last Time I Saw Paris, and a whiskey-swilling tourist traveling abroad with Gene Kelly in the musical Brigadoon.

Later in his career, Johnson earned an Emmy nod for a supporting role in the television miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976). He died on Dec. 12, 2008, at the age of 92.

Filmography