Friday, December 12, 2008

Van Johnson R. I. P.

Actor Van Johnson Dies at 92 - "Van Johnson, 92, a disarming and popular Hollywood star of 1940s musicals and comedies who later proved effective as a G.I. grunt in 'Battleground' and a conflicted Naval officer in 'The Caine Mutiny,' has died.

Mr. Johnson died Dec. 12 at Tappan Zee Manor, a senior citizens home in Nyack, N.Y. No cause of death was immediately reported.

Starting in the late 1940s, Mr. Johnson took many viewers and reviewers by surprise for his dramatic performances.

He was especially good as a presidential candidate's wily campaign manager in Frank Capra's 'State of the Union' (1948) with Spencer Tracy as his client. Mr. Johnson also portrayed a sneaky aide to a general in 'Command Decision' (1948); and a cynical rifleman in William Wellman's 'Battleground' (1949), a film praised for its harrowing depiction of combat during the Battle of the Bulge."

Thanks to Cap'n Bob Napier for the link.


Victor Gischler said...

I read about this earlier. I thought his performance in The Caine Mutiny was excellent.


August West said...

Also enjoyed the noir films "Scene of the Crime" and "Slander."

My mother always thought he was "so handsome!"

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

He did a lot of great films. I have a special affection for Battleground and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

Are there any other survivors from the heyday of the Hollywood studio system?