Richard Johnson


Actor
Richard Johnson

About

Also Known As
Richard Keith Johnson
Birth Place
Upminster, England, GB
Born
July 30, 1927
Died
June 06, 2015
Cause of Death
Undisclosed

Biography

Famous for his rakish charm and easygoing manner, British actor Richard Johnson had a career that spanned seven decades. Born in Essex in 1927, Johnson attended Felsted School. He eventually made his professional debut at the age of 17, appearing in a production of "Hamlet" with John Gielgud's repertory theater in 1944. The next year, however, World War II compelled the young actor to jo...

Family & Companions

Kim Novak
Wife
Actor. Married 1965-66.

Biography

Famous for his rakish charm and easygoing manner, British actor Richard Johnson had a career that spanned seven decades. Born in Essex in 1927, Johnson attended Felsted School. He eventually made his professional debut at the age of 17, appearing in a production of "Hamlet" with John Gielgud's repertory theater in 1944. The next year, however, World War II compelled the young actor to join the Royal Navy in service of his country. When he completed his service in 1948, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Johnson began his career as an actor on the stage, starring in a number of productions with London's Shakespeare Memorial Theatre throughout the '50s and '60s, including "Romeo and Juliet," "As You Like It," and "Julius Caesar." When the troupe was renamed the Royal Shakespeare Company under the direction of Peter Hall, Johnson was named as an Associate Artist of the company.

In 1957, he married actress Sheila Sweet. Though the union lasted only five years, the couple produced a son and a daughter. Johnson was cast in his first credited film role, playing Captain Danny De Mortimer in "Never So Few" (1959). His performance persuaded the executives at MGM to grant him a contract. The studio even wrote a part for him into the biblical epic "King of Kings" (1961), though the role was eventually cut from the final film. Johnson remained a popular actor during this period, however, starring in films like the horror classic "The Haunting" (1963). By Johnson's own account, he was even offered the role of James Bond in the film "Dr. No" (1962), but turned the part down. A particularly memorable on-set experience came along for the actor in 1965, when he appeared in the historical comedy "The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders" (1965) with Kim Novak. A romance bloomed between Johnson and his co-star, and the two were married that same year, though they divorced a year later.

The '70s found Johnson appearing in films like the Italian film "Zombi 2" (1979) and the thriller "Hennessy" (1975), for which he wrote the original story. Johnson also served as a council member for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts during this period. In 1981, the enterprising performer decided to form his own production company, founding British United Artists. He would serve as CEO of the company for the following ten years, producing films like "Turtle Diary" (1985).

In 1982, he married Scandinavian beauty Marie-Louise Norlund, with whom he would have a daughter. Johnson's marriage to Norlund ended in 1989, but his acting career remained prolific. He starred in acclaimed mini-series like "The Chamomile Lawn" (Channel Four, 1992) and "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes" (ITV, 1992). The new millennium found Johnson playing the head of the Illuminati in the action blockbuster "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001). He married Lynne Gurney in 2004, and continued acting in new projects like the Woody Allen comedy "Scoop" (2006) and the holocaust drama "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (2008). Johnson's final film was the dark comedy "Radiator" (2015). Richard Johnson died on June 5, 2015 in London. He was 89 years old.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Life of the Party (1920)
Assistant Director
The Fourteenth Man (1920)
Assistant Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
Radiator (2016)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Milk (1999)
John
Duel of Hearts (1992)
Crucifer Of Blood (1991)
The Secret Life Of Ian Fleming (1990)
General Hormsby
Treasure Island (1990)
Squire Trelawney
Diving In (1990)
Richard Anthony
The January Man (1989)
A Man For All Seasons (1988)
Turtle Diary (1986)
Lady Jane (1986)
Killpoint (1984)
R J
The Aerodrome (1983)
Air Commander
Secrets of the Phantom Caverns (1983)
Ben Gannon
The Monster Club (1981)
The Final Countdown (1980)
Haywire (1980)
Portrait of a Rebel: Margaret Sanger (1980)
Havelock Ellis
Zombie (1979)
Dr David Menard
Screamers (1979)
The Flame Is Love (1979)
Narrator
The Paradise Connection (1979)
2nd Henchman
Brutes and Savages (1978)
Narration
The Four Feathers (1978)
Abou Fatma
The Comeback (1978)
Dr Macauley
Aces High (1977)
Dedicato a una stella (1976)
Richard Lasky
Hennessy (1975)
Inspector Hollis
Beyond The Door (1975)
Julius Caesar (1970)
Cassius
The Witch (1969)
Sergio
Some Girls Do (1969)
Hugh Drummond
Danger Route (1968)
Jonas Wilde
A Twist of Sand (1968)
Geoffrey Peace
Oedipus the King (1968)
Creon
Deadlier Than the Male (1967)
Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond
Khartoum (1966)
Col. J. D. H. Stewart
Operation Crossbow (1965)
Duncan Sandys
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
Jemmy
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
Giles
Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls (1963)
Cairo (1963)
Ali
The Haunting (1963)
Dr. Markway
80,000 Suspects (1963)
Blaze Starr Goes Nudist (1962)
Never So Few (1959)
Capt. Danny De Mortimer
Saadia (1954)
Lt. Girard
Scotland Yard Inspector (1952)
Danny [McMara]
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
Macrae
His Old-Fashioned Dad (1917)
Emory Morton
The Sultana (1916)
The Will O' the Wisp (1914)

Cinematography (Feature Film)

A Gunfight (1971)
Camera Operator
Which Way to the Front? (1970)
Camera Operator
The Big Mouth (1967)
Camera Operator
Three on a Couch (1966)
Camera Operator
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
2nd unit Photographer
Ship of Fools (1965)
Camera Operator
4 for Texas (1963)
1st Assistant Camera
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
Assistant Camera

Writer (Feature Film)

Hennessy (1975)
From Story

Music (Feature Film)

Captain Milkshake (1970)
Composer

Art Department (Feature Film)

Outlaw Women (1952)
Prop

Cast (Special)

Gossip: Tabloid Tales (2002)
Happy Days (2002)
Willie
Miss Universe 2001 (2001)
The 47th Miss Universe Pageant (1998)
Front Seat (1997)
Breaking the Code (1997)
Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow (1996)
Heavy Weather (1996)
Total Exposure -- Privacy and the Press (1992)
Antony and Cleopatra (1975)
Antony

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Death of a Stranger (2001)
The Whistle-Blower (2001)
The 70's (2000)
Terry Johnson
Voice Of The Heart (1990)
Moses (1975)
Narrator

Life Events

1944

Made his stage debut in a John Gielgud production of "Hamlet."

1959

Appeared in John Sturges' World War II drama "Never So Few"

1959

Became an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

1974

Played Dimitri in "The Exorcist" spinoff "Beyond The Door"

1981

Founded the production company United British Artists.

2001

Played the head of the Illuminati in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."

Videos

Movie Clip

Never So Few (1959) - Opening, In The Hills Of North Burma Handy cast I-D shots are featured in the opening to John Sturges' World War Two Burma adventure Never So Few, 1959, starring Frank Sinatra, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lawford and Steve McQueen.
Never So Few (1959) - I Like Mature Men Elaborate meeting in a Calcutta restaurant between merchant Regas (Paul Henreid), his squeeze Carla (Gina Lollobrigida) and guerrilla commanders visiting from Burma (Richard Johnson as Brit De Mortimer, Frank Sinatra as American Reynolds), in the WWII adventure Never So Few, 1959.
Haunting, The (1963) - It Knows My Name! Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) and Luke (Russ Tamblyn), with highly-sensitive Theodora (Claire Bloom) and traumatized Eleanor (Julie Harris), who hears voices, as the house begins to pulse, in Robert Wise's The Haunting, 1963.
Operation Crossbow (1965) - The Outcome Of The War Opening, the point being that this is a full-scale Carlo Ponti WWII espionage feature, starring his wife Sophia Loren, and lots of people got their names billed before the title; also Churchill (Patrick Wymark) himself is involved, visited by Richard Johnson as Duncan Sandys (a historical figure, actually Churchill’s son-in-law), from Operation Crossbow, 1965.
Khartoum (1966) - It's Good To Be Home Large staging as General Gordon (Charlton Heston), with his nonplussed aide (Richard Johnson), arrives at the surrounded Sudanese city specified in the title, greeted as a hero due to exploits there years earlier, actually shot near the Egyptian city of Sohag, in the epic Khartoum, 1966.
Haunting, The (1963) - Scandal, Murder, Insanity From the credits, spook researcher Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) narrating the history of Hill House, with as much action as the whole remainder of the movie, opening Robert Wise's celebrated The Haunting, 1963.
Haunting, The (1963) - It's Alive! New arrivals Eleanora (Julie Harris, narrating) and Theodora (Claire Bloom) get acquainted first with Hill House then with Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) in director Robert Wise's The Haunting, 1963.
80,000 Suspects - This Isn't A Bust-up! Dr. Monks (Richard Johnson) arrives home determined to begin his holiday, despite a possible outbreak at the hospital and the reluctance of his ex-nurse wife Julie (Claire Bloom) in 80,000 Suspects, 1963.
80,000 Suspects - Open, Holiday Stars Richard Johnson and Claire Bloom are introduced following opening credits and New Years' festivities at Bath Abbey in the opening of writer/director/producer Val Guest's 1963 medical thriller 80,000 Suspects.
80,000 Suspects - Modern Surgery Nurse Julie (Claire Bloom) is on the emergency smallpox vaccine team when her doctor husband Steve (Richard Johnson) visits, in a scene shot on location in Bath, Somerset, U.K., in 80,000 Suspects, 1963.
80,000 Suspects - I Think It's Smallpox Dr. Monks (Richard Johnson), dragged from a party, helps Preston (Michael Goodliffe) evaluate a patient (Vanda Godsell) in an ominous early scene from the British medical-thriller 80,000 Suspects, 1963.
Hennessy - I've Lived With It Myself Newly-widowed Irish Niall (Rod Steiger) finds fellow Belfast widow Kate (Lee Remick) at work in a London dress shop, early in the AIP Northern Ireland drama Hennessy, 1975.

Companions

Kim Novak
Wife
Actor. Married 1965-66.

Bibliography