Van Johnson


Actor
Van Johnson

About

Also Known As
Voiceless Sinatra, Charles Van Johnson
Birth Place
Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Born
August 25, 1916
Died
December 12, 2008
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

A freckled-faced boy-next-door, actor Van Johnson became a big star at MGM in the 1940s and 1950s when he came to Hollywood from the Broadway chorus. He cornered the market on genial guys who romanced nice girls like June Allyson and Esther Williams in comedies and musicals, which made him a top box office draw during the war and into post-war America. On occasion, he was given a chance ...

Photos & Videos

Two Girls and a Sailor - Publicity Still
The Caine Mutiny - Movie Posters
Easy to Wed - Publicity Still

Family & Companions

Eve Lynn Johnson
Wife
Former actor. Married on January 25, 1947; had previously been married to Van Johnson's close friend Keenan Wynn, whom she had married in 1939; separated c. 1960; divorced in 1968.

Bibliography

"Van Johnson: MGM's Golden Boy"
Ronald L Davis, University of Mississippi Press (2001)

Biography

A freckled-faced boy-next-door, actor Van Johnson became a big star at MGM in the 1940s and 1950s when he came to Hollywood from the Broadway chorus. He cornered the market on genial guys who romanced nice girls like June Allyson and Esther Williams in comedies and musicals, which made him a top box office draw during the war and into post-war America. On occasion, he was given a chance to show some dramatic grit in war pictures like "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo" (1944) and "Battleground" (1949). Johnson's career faded in the early 1960s, though he remained active on television and theater until the early 1990s. Johnson's air of sympathetic concern, boyish energy and sometimes larger-than-life acting style ensured his enduring status as one of the most well-liked symbols of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Born Charles Van Johnson in Newport, RI on Aug. 25, 1916, he was raised by his father, a plumber named Charles Johnson, after his mother's alleged alcoholism led to divorce. A star-struck only child, Johnson was performing at local social clubs while in high school while helping to support his father through various odd jobs. At 19, he moved to New York to find work in the musical theater, and landed a job in the off-Broadway revue "Entre Nous" in 1935. Other stage credits soon followed before legendary director-producer George Abbott gave him his big break by hiring him as understudy to one of three male leads for his production of "Too Many Girls" in 1939. Johnson would eventually replace one of the actors, Richard Killmar, which gave him his Broadway debut. The following year, Abbott cast him again as a chorus boy and Gene Kelly's understudy in Rodgers and Hart's groundbreaking musical, "Pal J y."

Johnson made his film debut in the chorus of the screen adaptation of "Too Many Girls" (1940) starring Lucille Ball and a then unknown Broadway performer, Desi Arnaz, and, after a pit stop at Warner Bros., was signed by MGM. En route to a screening of the Katherine Hepburn film "Keeper of the Flame" (1942), Johnson was injured in a car accident and needed a metal plate inserted in his forehead. Being unable to serve in WWII turned out to be a big career break for the boyish young actor. Filling the gap left by more established stars that were in the military, Johnson became the go-to actor for amiably idealized, small-town leads and support in features. After replacing Lew Ayres in the continuation of the popular Dr. Kildare series as "Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant" (1942), he earned his true breakthrough in a pair of wartime dramas - "A Guy Named J " (1943) and "The Human Comedy" (1943). In the former, he was the inexperienced fighter pilot tutored by Spencer Tracy's ghostly flyboy, while "Comedy" cast him as the best pal of star Mickey Rooney.

With his earnest manner and youthful good looks, Johnson became a major teen favorite of his day. Because of such fans, Johnson, despite his very pleasant singing voice, acquired the nickname, 'the voiceless Sinatra.' He made the annual exhibitors' poll of top ten box-office stars in both 1945 and 1946, and over the next decade, made five films - each with two of MGM's most typically escapist stars, June Allyson and Esther Williams. His best films with Allyson included their first together, the peppy musical "Two Girls and a Sailor" (1944) and their last, the amusing mystery farce, "Remains to Be Seen" (1953). With Williams, he teamed for the decent comedy remake "Easy to Wed" (1946) and got big laughs when he campily imitated her ultra-femme swimming backstroke in "Easy to Love" (1953). Johnson also partnered Judy Garland for the fair but disappointing "In the Good Old Summertime" (1949) and stole the show as the sardonic second lead of the poor musical adaptation, "Brigadoon" (1954).

Though Johnson was largely perceived as a light musical lead, he was occasionally cast in more serious fare, including several fine war pictures and dramas, including the gripping "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" (1944), which cast him as real-life Navy pilot Lt. Ted Lawson, who participated in Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's historic raid on Japan in 1942. One film, "Weekend at the Waldorf" (1945), even indirectly dramatized his injury, with Johnson as a soldier endangered by shrapnel near his heart. Johnson also played a major role in one of the finest of all WWII films, "Battleground" (1949), about an Allied platoon in the Battle of Bastogne, and "Go for Broke!" (1951), both for director and real-life veteran Robert Pirosh.

Sometimes, though, Johnson's attempts at more serious acting were hampered by his early screen persona. "State of the Union" (1948) emphasized Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and "The Caine Mutiny" (1954) threw all the acting meat to Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer and Fred MacMurray; leaving Johnson with routine heroics. As middle-age dawned, Johnson's features became heavier and acquired a slightly worried look, but he did well in offbeat entries while free-lancing. "The Bottom of the Bottle" (1956) was unabashed melodrama, but gave Johnson a complex role as an alcoholic. He also did very well as a blind detective in the fondly remembered "23 Paces to Baker Street" (1956) and he reteamed with Vera Miles from the latter for the British-made "Beyond This Place" (1959). Johnson was also a regular in homes during the Thanksgiving holidays, thanks to his turn as "The Pied Piper of Hamlin" (NBC, 1957), a musical TV-movie based on the p m by Robert Browning.

Films like "Kelly and Me" (1957), which teamed Johnson with a performing dog, did not help his film career, and feature film work since the 1960s was irregular. With his MGM contract now expired, he freelanced for other studios, working frequently in nightclubs and musicals; most notably in London productions of "The Music Man" (1961) and "Come on Strong" in Broadway's 1962 season. Operations for skin cancer and the removal of a lymph gland took him out of the picture in the mid 1960s, but he was back on television and in features by the end of the decade. Now firmly established as affable support, he appeared in family comedies like "Yours, Mine and Ours" (1968), thrillers such as "Company of Killers" (1970) and even several genre pictures in Europe.

A late career high came in 1976 with an Emmy nomination for "Rich Man, Poor Man" (ABC), which led to more work on the small screen in "Superdome" (1978) and "Glitter" (1984). Throughout the 1980s, he was busy in dinner theater and the straw-hat circuit. In 1985, he received critical and box-office acclaim when he returned to Broadway as one of original star Gene Barry's replacements in the flashy but warm gay-themed musical, "La Cage aux Folles," and he gave an amusing turn as one of the stars in the film-within-a-film that highlighted Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985).

The 1990s saw Johnson on stage in productions of "No, No, Nanette" and "Show Boat," though he was forced to abandon the latter due to health concerns in 1991. A regular on television documentaries about the Hollywood of yore, he was a genial and informative interview subject, most notably for "Burt Reynolds' Conversations With " (CBS, 1991), for which he was joined by the likes of James Stewart, Ricardo Montalban and his "Human Comedy" co-star Mickey Rooney. After retiring to an assisted living facility in the new millennium, Johnson died Dec. 12, 2008 at the age of 92. His legacy was a true rarity in movie circles - he had outlasted virtually all male actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood and had managed to work solidly way into his golden years, unlike many of his peers.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992)
Delta Force Commando 2 (1991)
Three Days to a Kill (1991)
Fuga dal Paradiso (1990)
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Narrator
Bacall On Bogart (1988)
Laggiu Nella Giungla (1987)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
The Kidnapping Of The President (1980)
V P Ethan Richards
Getting Married (1978)
Phil Lawrence
Superdome (1978)
Battle Command (1976)
The Girl on the Late, Late Show (1974)
Call Her Mom (1972)
President Hardgrove
Company of Killers (1970)
Sam Cahill
Where Angels Go ... Trouble Follows! (1968)
Father Chase
Yours, Mine, and Ours (1968)
Darrell Harrison
Divorce American Style (1967)
Al Yearling
Wives and Lovers (1963)
Bill Austin
The Enemy General (1960)
Allan Lemaire
The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)
Sgt. Hans Von Kroner/also known as Sgt. Leonard Richardson
Subway in the Sky (1959)
Baxter
Web Of Evidence (1959)
Paul Mathry
Kelly and Me (1957)
Len Carmody
Action of the Tiger (1957)
Carson
Slander (1957)
Scott Ethan Martin
The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)
Donald Martin, also known as Eric Bell
23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)
Phillip Hannon
Miracle in the Rain (1956)
Arthur Hugenon
The End of the Affair (1955)
Maurice Bendrix
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
Lt. Steve Maryk
Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
Lt., j.g. Howard Thayer
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
Charles Wills
Brigadoon (1954)
Jeff Douglas
Siege at Red River (1954)
Capt. James S. Simmons, also known as Jim Farraday
Confidentially Connie (1953)
Joe Bedloe
Remains to Be Seen (1953)
Waldo Williams
Easy to Love (1953)
Ray Lloyd
Invitation (1952)
Dan I. Pierce
When in Rome (1952)
Father John [X. Halligan]
It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1952)
Adam Burch
Washington Story (1952)
Joseph T. Gresham
Plymouth Adventure (1952)
John Alden
Grounds for Marriage (1951)
Dr. Lincoln I. Bartlett
Go for Broke! (1951)
Lt. Michael Grayson
Too Young to Kiss (1951)
Eric Wainwright
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Michael Lawrence
Duchess of Idaho (1950)
Dick Layn
The Big Hangover (1950)
David Maldon
Mother Is a Freshman (1949)
Prof. Richard Michaels
In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
Andrew Delby Larkin
Scene of the Crime (1949)
Mike Conovan
Battleground (1949)
Holley
Command Decision (1949)
Technical Sergeant Immanuel T. Evans
The Bride Goes Wild (1948)
Greg Rawlings [also known as "Uncle Bumps"]
State of the Union (1948)
"Spike" MacManus
Till the Clouds Roll By (1947)
Band leader
The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947)
Henry Carson
High Barbaree (1947)
Alec Brooke
Easy to Wed (1946)
Bill Stevens Chandler
No Leave, No Love (1946)
Sgt. Michael Hanlon
Between Two Women (1945)
Dr. [Randall] "Red" Adams
Thrill of a Romance (1945)
Major Thomas Milvaine
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
Captain James Hollis, the flyer
Madame Curie (1944)
Reporter
The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
Sam Bennett
Three Men in White (1944)
Dr. Randall ["Red"] Adams
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
[Lieut.] Ted Lawson
A Guy Named Joe (1944)
Ted Randall
Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
John [Johnny] Dyckman Brown III
The Human Comedy (1943)
Marcus Macauley
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
Dr. Randall ["Red"] Adams
Pilot #5 (1943)
Everett Arnold
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
Lt. Hall
The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)
Michael Fitzpatrick
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
Dr. Randall ["Red"] Adams
Murder in the Big House (1942)
Bert Bell
Too Many Girls (1940)
Chorus boy

Cast (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Lucille Ball (2002)
Spencer Tracy: Triumph and Turmoil (1999)
Angela Lansbury: A Balancing Act (1998)
Lucy & Desi: TV's First Couple (1994)
Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie (1993)
Ava Gardner (1992)
The Thalians (1991)
An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner (1989)
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
The 39th Annual Tony Awards (1985)
Performer
The Night of 100 Stars II (1985)
John Schneider's Christmas Holiday (1983)
Guest
Man in the Middle (1972)
Norman; The Father
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1961)
The Pied Piper

Cast (Short)

That's Entertainment! (Gala Premiere) (1974)
Himself
Just One More Time (1974)
Himself
Please Don't Say No (1945)
Personalities (1942)
Himself
For the Common Defense! (1942)

Misc. Crew (Short)

The Cinematographer (1951)
Archival Footage

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Clowning Around (1992)
Rich Man, Poor Man (1975)

Life Events

1919

Raised by father after parents' divorce

1935

Moved to New York; first job in Off-Broadway was the musical revue, "Entre Nous"

1936

Appeared in the Broadway production of "New Faces of 1936"

1939

Hired by George Abbott as an understudy to three male leads in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Too Many Girls"

1940

Again cast by George Abbott for a small part and also as Gene Kelly's understudy in Rodgers and Hart's Broadway musical, "Pal Joey"

1940

Film debut, "Too Many Girls" (in chorus)

1942

Signed to seven-year contract by MGM

1942

Began to attract attention in film, "Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant"

1942

Signed to six-month contract by Warner Brothers (at $300/week), studio dropped his option after two films

1943

Breakthrough film, "A Guy Named Joe"; first of five films he made opposite Esther Williams

1944

Made first of five films opposite June Allyson, "Two Girls and a Sailor"; first film in which he was received top billing

1947

First of three films opposite Janet Leigh, "The Romance of Rosy Ridge"

1953

Made last film opposite June Allyson, "Remains to Be Seen" and last one opposite Esther Williams, "Easy to Love"

1955

Made TV debut on "The Last Spring" (an installment of the "Loretta Young Show")

1955

First non-US feature, "The End of the Affair"; starred opposite Deborah Kerr in the British-made production

1957

Starred in TV special, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"

1959

Moved to Switzerland with his family

1960

Last film for three years, "The Enemy General"

1961

Made London stage debut in "The Music Man"

1962

Returned to the US to star opposite Carroll Baker in the Broadway production of "Come on Strong"

1963

First film in three years and also his last starring role in features for years, "Wives and Lovers"; also his last of three films opposite Janet Leigh

1963

Toured with nightclub act which was interrupted by operation for skin cancer

1964

Starred in the CBS pilot "At Your Service"; was not picked up for a series

1966

First TV-movie, "The Doomsday Flight"

1967

Returned to features after four years in "Divorce American Style"

1972

Starred in the CBS pilot, "Man in the Middle"; was not picked up as a series

1976

Received a supporting Emmy nomination for the ABC miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man"

1976

Reprised the role of Marsh Goodwin, in the ABC spinoff series, "Rich Man, Poor Man: Book II"

1976

Played a leading role in "Battle Command"

1985

Replaced star Gene Barry in the long-running Broadway musical "La Cage aux Folles"

1990

Starred in a St. Louis revival of the 1920s Broadway musical classic, "No, No, Nanette"

1991

Left California Music Theatre's revival of "Show Boat" (played Captain Andy) during previews due to illness (September)

1991

Appeared on the CBS interview special, "Burt Reynolds' Conversations With..."

Photo Collections

Two Girls and a Sailor - Publicity Still
Here is a publicity still from Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), starring Van Johnson and June Allyson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Caine Mutiny - Movie Posters
Here is a group of American movie posters from Columbia Pictures' The Caine Mutiny (1954), starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, and Fred MacMurray.
Easy to Wed - Publicity Still
Here is a publicity still from MGM's Easy to Wed (1946), starring Esther Williams, Van Johnson, and Lucille Ball. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Easy to Wed - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from MGM's Easy to Wed (1946), starring Van Johnson, Esther Williams, and Lucille Ball. 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.
Command Decision - Publicity Stills
Here are a few stills taken to help publicize MGM's Command Decision (1948), starring Clark Gable, Van Johnson, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Battleground - Action Publicity Stills
Here are several action-oriented publicity stills taken for MGM's Battleground (1949). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, George Murphy, and many others.
In the Good Old Summertime - Publicity Stills
Here are some Publicity Stills from MGM's In the Good Old Summertime (1949), starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Invitation - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Invitation (1952), starring Dorothy McGuire and Van Johnson.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of publicity stills from MGM's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Bride Goes Wild - Publicity Still
Here is a Publicity Still from The Bride Goes Wild (1948). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Duchess of Idaho - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Duchess of Idaho (1950). 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.
In the Good Old Summertime - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from MGM's In the Good Old Summertime (1949), starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.
The Last Time I Saw Paris - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from MGM's The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Men of the Fighting Lady - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from MGM's Men of the Fighting Lady (1954), starring Van Johnson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Confidentially Connie - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Confidentially Connie (1953), starring Van Johnson and Janet Leigh. 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.
Van Johnson Publicity Sheet
This is a Warner Bros. studio publicity sheet on the actor Van Johnson. These write-ups were often performed by the Warner Bros. Studio Publicity or Marketing departments (sometimes the studio would use an outside PR agency) and were intended to provide media outlets (mostly magazines and newspapers) with background information and entertainment copy to help editors create their stories on film stars and celebrities. These often included a mixture of some fact and plenty of fiction.
Easy to Wed - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Easy to Wed (1946). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Too Young To Kiss (1951) - In Winnipeg It Is Not Cold? After just a glance of co-star June Allyson in his waiting room, concert promoter Wainright (Van Johnson), blowing off a German tenor, makes excuses for French singer Denise (Paula, a.k.a. Rita, Corday) early in MGM’s Too Young To Kiss, , 1951 from a Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett screenplay.
Too Young To Kiss (1951) - There's No Room At The Top Having just realized she could fake being a teenager in order to get an audition, ambitious classical pianist Cynthia (June Allyson) is intercepted at home by her boyfriend John (Gig Young), early in MGM’s Too Young To Kiss, , 1951, also starring Van Johnson.
Too Young To Kiss (1951) - She's Box Office! Thinking he’s discovered a prodigy, concert promoter Wainright (Van Johnson) arrives with contracts at the apartment of pianist Cynthia (June Allyson) who, having posed at her audition as her fictional kid-sister Molly, takes a stab at making things right, in MGM’s Too Young To Kiss, , 1951.
Too Young To Kiss (1951) - Revolutionary Etude Both billed above the title in their 4th picture starring together, June Allyson is twenty-something pianist Cynthia posing as her fictional kid sister Molly, and Van Johnson is Wainright, the impresario holding auditions for a youth orchestra, Hans Conreid introducing her, for the familiar Chopin composition, in MGM’s Too Young To Kiss, , 1951, with impressive fake playing by June, who had some piano training as a child.
End Of The Affair, The (1955) - Like Planes On Fire Several months into their London wartime affair, with American Maurice (Van Johnson) spotting the first German buzz-bombs, placing events firmly in June, 1944, he and his married lover Sarah (Deborah Kerr) must decide the safest course, in Edward Dmytryk’s The End Of The Affair, 1955, from the Graham Greene novel.
End Of The Affair, The (1955) - Are You Miserable? The war ended and a year after Sarah, his married lover, broke up with him, American writer Maurice (Van Johnson) is back in London where he meets her husband, his friend, Henry MIles (Peter Cushing), who has not been well, Edward Dmytryk directing, on location, from Graham Greene’s novel, in The End Of The Affair, 1955.
End Of The Affair, The (1955) - The Party In Question John Mills' first scene as London P-I Parkis, meeting and reporting to client Maurice (Van Johnson), who's paying to have his former girlfriend watched, sooner than he expected, in The End Of The Affair, 1955, from Graham Greene's novel.
End Of The Affair, The (1955) - Angry About God Anxious American writer Maurice (Van Johnson), in London awaiting his married English wartime girlfriend Sarah (Deborah Kerr), hewing close to Graham Greene's original novel, in Edward Dmytryk's The End Of The Affair, 1955.
Scene Of The Crime (1949) - Stop Tossing That Gun Around Opening with a straight-up murder, characters not identified (G. Pat Collins plays the victim whom, we’ll learn, is a plainclothes cop), we then meet cover-girl Gloria (Arlene Dahl) and her husband, cop Mike Conovan (Van Johnson), about to celebrate their anniversary, in the rare MGM-Noir, Scene Of The Crime, 1949.
Scene Of The Crime (1949) - If You Never Try To Stop L-A cop Conovan (Van Johnson) chasing a lead, explains to wife Gloria (Arlene Dahl) then, hardly noticing one performer (Jean Carter) and not revealing himself, earns some time with stripper Lili (Gloria DeHaven, in a role evoking the famous Burlesque entertainer Lili St. Cyr), in MGM’s Scene Of The Crime, 1949.
Plymouth Adventure (1952) - We Be Loaded Deep Exhaustive exposition from producer Dore Schary, focused on introducing Leo Genn and Gene Tierney as the Bradfords, Kathleen Lockhart as Mrs. Brewster, John Dehner as Winslow, Van Johnson as Alden, finally Spencer Tracy as Jones, Lloyd Bridges as Coppin, in MGM's Plymouth Adventure, 1952.
Easy To Love (1953) - -- What Do You See In That Girl? Opening cleverness, Charles (Chuck) Walters directing for MGM and producer Joe Pasternak, Van Johnson is Florida water-park operator Ray, at the real Cypress Gardens, showing off his star Julie (Esther Williams) for a guy shooting a promo film (Paul Bryar), in Easy To Love, 1953.

Trailer

Three Men in White - (Original Trailer) Young doctors compete for a prestigious position as Dr. Gillespie's assistant. Starring Lionel Barrymore, Van Johnson and featuring Ava Gardner.
Go For Broke - (Original Trailer) Many of the actual veterans appear in Go For Broke (1951), the story of the all Japanese-American Regimental Combat Team in World War II.
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant - (Original Trailer) Three young surgeons vie to replace the legendary Dr. Kildare in Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942).
Bride Goes Wild, The -- (Re-issue Trailer) A womanizing author of children's books (Van Johnson) borrows a son to woo his illustrator in The Bride Goes Wild (1948).
Duchess of Idaho - (Original Trailer) During a Sun Valley vacation, a woman tries to solve her roommate's romantic problems in Duchess of Idaho (1950), starring Esther Williams.
Battleground - (Original Trailer) American soldiers in France fight to survive a Nazi siege just before the Battle of the Bulge in Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, John Hodiak and Ricardo Montalban.
Born For Trouble - (Original Trailer) Two reporters take on a murder ring at the state pen in Born For Trouble (1942) here under its original title.
Last Time I Saw Paris, The - (Original Trailer) A writer recalls his turbulent marriage to an expatriate heiress in The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor.
High Barbaree - (Original Trailer) As he awaits rescue in the South Pacific, a downed pilot (Van Johnson) tells his wounded companion the story of High Barbaree (1947).
Between Two Women (1944) - (Original Trailer) Dr. Gillespie's young assistant (Van Johnson) finds himself pursued by two beautiful women in Between Two Women (1944).
No Leave, No Love - (Original Trailer) Van Johnson is a returning veteran who falls for a radio singer in the musical No Leave, No Love (1946).
Scene of the Crime - (Original Trailer) A detective (Van Johnson) tries to solve a policeman's murder at the Scene of the Crime (1949).

Family

Charles E Johnson
Father
Plumber. Swedish; parents divorced when he was three; father retained custody.
Loretta Johnson
Mother
Reportedly an alcoholic.
Ned Wynn
Step-Son
Screenwriter, actor, producer. Born in 1941; wrote memoir "We Will Always Live in Beverly Hills" (1990).
Tracy Keenan Wynn
Step-Son
Screenwriter. Born in February 1945; won Emmy for teleplay "Tribes".
Schuyler Van Johnson
Daughter
Mother Eve Abbott.

Companions

Eve Lynn Johnson
Wife
Former actor. Married on January 25, 1947; had previously been married to Van Johnson's close friend Keenan Wynn, whom she had married in 1939; separated c. 1960; divorced in 1968.

Bibliography

"Van Johnson: MGM's Golden Boy"
Ronald L Davis, University of Mississippi Press (2001)