Family & Companions
Although David Johansen is known first and foremost as frontman of the legendary New York Dolls, one of the biggest influences on the nascent 1970s punk explosion, he has long maintained a side career as an actor. Indeed, Johansen spent the majority of the 1980s and early '90s inhabiting the role of suave lounge lizard Buster Poindexter, a character Johansen developed during a club residency in his native New York City. Improbably, Poindexter proved more popular than the influential but meager-selling New York Dolls ever were, appearing regularly on "Saturday Night Live" and other television shows; his soca-flavored 1987 hit, "Hot Hot Hot," was the sole Top 40 hit Johansen ever scored. Around the same time that Poindexter started percolating into the mainstream, Johansen began appearing in films and TV shows under his own name. Guest shots on popular series like "Miami Vice" and "The Equalizer" coincided with meatier roles in films like Robert Frank's "Candy Mountain," Jonathan Demme's "Married To The Mob," and the Bill Murray family hit "Scrooged," in which he played the Ghost of Christmas Past as a sardonic Manhattan cab driver. Johansen's sole starring role was as Officer Gunther Toody in a 1994 big-screen take on the 1960s sitcom "Car 54, Where Are You? " alongside John C. McGinley and Fran Drescher.