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|Also Known As:||J R Cash,John R Cash||Died:||September 12, 2003|
|Born:||February 26, 1932||Cause of Death:||complications from diabetes|
|Birth Place:||Kingsland, Arkansas, USA||Profession:||Music ... singer songwriter guitarist door-to-door salesman|
Forever known as country music's iconic Man in Black, Johnny Cash was a man of contradictions and deep-seated convictions, who never ceased to push himself as an artist or as a human being. Born poor in the South, Cash experienced tragedy at an early age when his older brother, Jack, died in a horrible work-related accident. It was a devastating shock that surely informed much of the darker aspects of Cash's troubled personal life and artistic output throughout his coming career. After signing on to legendary Sun Records in the mid-1950s, Cash became a national sensation with signature numbers like "I Walk the Line." Subsequent hits followed, combined with an intense touring schedule that fueled an addiction to narcotics. In the early 1960s, Cash began a long acting career with a leading role in the low-budget crime drama "Door-to-Door Maniac" (1961), and later, in the anti-Western "A Gunfight" (1971), opposite film legend Kirk Douglas. On television, he hosted several musical variety shows, like "Johnny Cash and Friends" (CBS, 1975-76), and would go on to star in made-for-TV movies, such as "The Pride of Jesse Hallam" (CBS, 1981). Cash's influence ranged beyond mere country music, however, as he was a staunch supporter of prison reform - as evidenced by his incendiary concert at Folsom State Prison - as well as Native American rights, while also being a deeply religious person. Cash was on personal terms with each sitting American President, starting with Richard Nixon, until the time of his death, and performed with non-country artists like U2 and Nine Inch Nails. Shortly after the death of his beloved wife, June Carter, Cash himself passed away in 2003. Two years later, the critically acclaimed biopic "Walk the Line" (2005) would serve as a fitting epitaph for a man who fearlessly explored both mankind's darkness and light in both his art and his life.
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