Tor Johnson


Actor, Wrestler

About

Also Known As
Tor Johansson
Born
October 19, 1903
Died
May 12, 1971

Biography

Hulking, bald-pated Swedish wrestler who began making film appearances in the 1940s and became a minor cult figure playing mute, mindless killers in a number of schlock horror films, most notably in the films of Edward D. Wood Jr. After years in the ring, Johnson played bits in the Ole Olsen and Chick Johnson comedy "Ghost Catchers" (1944) and the low-budget film noir "Behind Locked Door...

Photos & Videos

Plan 9 from Outer Space - Movie Poster
Bride of the Monster - Movie Poster
Bride of the Monster - Lobby Cards

Biography

Hulking, bald-pated Swedish wrestler who began making film appearances in the 1940s and became a minor cult figure playing mute, mindless killers in a number of schlock horror films, most notably in the films of Edward D. Wood Jr. After years in the ring, Johnson played bits in the Ole Olsen and Chick Johnson comedy "Ghost Catchers" (1944) and the low-budget film noir "Behind Locked Doors" (1948). His first film for Wood was the execrable but, unintentionally, hilarious "Bride of the Monster" (1956), in which he originated the role of the mute, scarred Lobo, a role he reprised in Wood's "Night of the Ghouls" (1959) and in the non-Wood directed "The Unearthly" (1957).

Johnson was rarely ever given any dialogue and never really learned to act. Admittedly he wasn't called on to do much; his physical presence and abilities to stare uncomprehendingly and lumber about menacingly were enough. He did appear in several non-horror films in bit parts ("Carousel" 1956 and "Lady in the Iron Mask" 1952, as the mad executioner who keeps Patricia Medina locked up), but jobs pretty much dried up for Johnson in the 60s. He was accorded one of his largest roles--in one of his worst films, "The Beast of Yucca Flats" (1961)--as a Russian atomic scientist who walks right into an atom bomb blast and assumes the film's title role. The teen comedy "Head" (1968) was one of Johnson's last appearances. He was played, quite appropriately, by wrestler George 'the Animal' Steele in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic, "Ed Wood" (1994).

Life Events

1944

Earliest feature film appearances included a small role in the Ole Olsen-Chick Johnson low-budget comedy for Universal, "Ghost Catchers"

1956

First film for director Edward D. Wood Jr., "Bride of the Monster", in which he first played the role of Lobo

1959

Last appearance as Lobo and last film for Ed Wood, "Night of the Ghouls"

1968

Made one of last feature film appearances in a small role in "Head"

1994

Was played by wrestler-actor George "the Animal" Steele in the feature biopic, "Ed Wood"

Photo Collections

Plan 9 from Outer Space - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Bride of the Monster - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Bride of the Monster - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster (1956). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Black Sleep - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Black Sleep (1956). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Plan 9 from Outer Space - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions. The cards from this low-budget film were printed in Duotone.
Bride of the Monster - Scene Photos
Here are several scene stills from Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster (1956).
Plan 9 from Outer Space - Scene Photos
Here are several scene stills from Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Bibliography