Don Johnson

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Don Johnson
Don Johnson.JPEG
Johnson in 1986, during an interview aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.
BornDonnie Wayne Johnson
(1949-12-15) December 15, 1949 (age 64)
Hopewell, Missouri[disambiguation needed], United States
OccupationActor, producer, director, singer-songwriter[1]
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)Spouse1 (1968; annulled)[2][3]
Spouse2 (annulled)
Melanie Griffith
(1976, 1989–1996)
Kelley Phleger
(1999–present)
Partner(s)Patti D'Arbanville (1981–1985)
Children5; including
Jesse Wayne Johnson
Dakota Johnson
 
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For other people named Don Johnson, see Don Johnson (disambiguation).
Don Johnson
Don Johnson.JPEG
Johnson in 1986, during an interview aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.
BornDonnie Wayne Johnson
(1949-12-15) December 15, 1949 (age 64)
Hopewell, Missouri[disambiguation needed], United States
OccupationActor, producer, director, singer-songwriter[1]
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)Spouse1 (1968; annulled)[2][3]
Spouse2 (annulled)
Melanie Griffith
(1976, 1989–1996)
Kelley Phleger
(1999–present)
Partner(s)Patti D'Arbanville (1981–1985)
Children5; including
Jesse Wayne Johnson
Dakota Johnson

Donny Wayne "Don" Johnson[1] (born December 15, 1949)[1] is an American actor and recording artist perhaps best known for his lead role as James "Sonny" Crockett in the 1980s television series, Miami Vice. He also played the lead role in the 1990s cop series, Nash Bridges. Johnson is a Golden Globe winning actor for his role in Miami Vice, a winner of the American Power Boat Association Offshore World Cup, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[4] He is also a singer, songwriter, producer, and director.

Early life and education[edit]

Johnson was born in Flat Creek, Missouri.[1] His mother, Nell (née Wilson), was a beautician, and his father, Wayne Fred Johnson, was a farmer.[5][6] At the time of his birth, they were 19 and 17, respectively. At age six, he moved from Missouri to Wichita, Kansas. A 1967 graduate of South High School, he was involved in the high school's theatre program. As a senior, he played the lead role of Tony in West Side Story. His biography noted that he had previously appeared in "Burnt Cork and Melody" and "The Hullabaloo." He also attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

Johnson has spoken about his draft-exempt status and his dislike for war.[7]

Acting[edit]

Early years[edit]

Johnson studied drama at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. His first major role was in the 1969 Los Angeles stage production of Fortune and Men's Eyes, in which he played Smitty, the lead role. This exposure led to the quickly forgotten film The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970, based on a novel by Robert Westbrook, son of columnist Sheilah Graham). He continued to work on stage, film and television without breaking out into stardom. His notable films from this period were Zachariah (1971), The Harrad Experiment (1973), Lollipop and Roses (1974), and A Boy and His Dog (1975). In 1976, Johnson was roommates with actor Sal Mineo when Mineo was murdered outside their West Hollywood, California apartment.[8]

Miami Vice[edit]

From 1984-1989—after years of struggling to establish himself as a TV actor (in such fare as Revenge of the Stepford Wives), and a string of pilots, none of which became a TV series—Johnson landed a starring role as undercover police detective Sonny Crockett in the cop series, Miami Vice. He typically wore thousand dollar Versace and Hugo Boss suits over pastel cotton t-shirts, drove a Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona (really a replica kit on a 1981 Corvette chassis), followed by a Ferrari Testarossa and lived on a 40-foot (12 m) (later a 42 -ft) Endeavour yacht with his pet alligator, Elvis. Miami Vice was noted for its revolutionary use of music, cinematography, imagery, and its glitzy take on the police drama genre. Between seasons, Johnson gained further renown through several TV miniseries, such as the 1985 TV remake of The Long, Hot Summer.

Nash Bridges[edit]

Johnson later starred in the 1996-2001 drama Nash Bridges with Cheech Marin, Jeff Perry, Jaime P. Gomez and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe. Johnson played the title role of Nash Bridges, an inspector for the San Francisco Police Department. In Nash Bridges Johnson was again paired with a flashy convertible car, this time a Lemon Twist Yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda.

2000s[edit]

In the fall of 2005, he briefly starred in The WB courtroom television drama show Just Legal as a jaded lawyer with a very young and idealistic protégé/partner (Jay Baruchel); the show was canceled in October 2005 after just three episodes aired. In January 2007, Johnson began a run in the West End of London production of Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit.

Johnson also has a role in the Norwegian comedy Lange Flate Ballær 2 ("Long Flat Balls II"), directed by Johnson's friend Harald Zwart. Johnson did the movie as a favour to Zwart. The movie was launched March 14, 2008 in Norway, with Johnson making an appearance at the premiere. He next appeared in When in Rome with Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston and Kristen Bell.[9]

2010s[edit]

Johnson and Jon Heder co-hosted WWE's Raw on January 18, 2010.[10]

Johnson had a supporting role in Robert Rodriguez's film, Machete. Johnson played Von Jackson, "a twisted border vigilante leading a small army." The film was released on September 3, 2010.

In October 2010, he began appearing on the HBO series Eastbound & Down, playing Kenny Powers' long-lost father, going by the alias "Eduardo Sanchez". He also reprised his role as Sonny Crockett for a Nike commercial with LeBron James where the NBA player contemplates acting and appears alongside Johnson on Miami Vice.[11]

In September 2011, Johnson had a cameo in the comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy with Jason Sudeikis.[12]

Johnson had a supporting role in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, playing a southern plantation owner named Spencer 'Big Daddy' Bennett.[13]

Music[edit]

Johnson released two albums of pop music in the 1980s, one in 1986 and the other in 1989. His single, "Heartbeat", reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was the title track from his first album, and was a collaboration with Robert Tepper. Johnson is also a good friend of Willie Nelson and Robert Tepper, and was briefly a part of the "Thailand Pack", alongside Tommy Morrison, and British TV funny man Les Dennis. Previously, Johnson worked with Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, co-writing the songs "Blind Love" and "Can't Take It with You" with Dickie Betts, which appeared on their 1979 album, Enlightened Rogues. B.B. King and Jules Taub co-wrote the song "Blind Love", the Allman's covered it. There is no writer's credit to confirm he co-wrote "Can't Take It with You".[1][14]

Personal life[edit]

Relationships and family[edit]

Johnson and Mary-Louise Parker at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival

Johnson has had four wives in five marriages, three of which were brief. His first two marriages, in the late 1960s, were annulled. The names of Johnson's first two wives have not been made public knowledge.[2] In the early 1970s, Johnson lived with groupie Pamela Des Barres.[15] At 22, he met Melanie Griffith, the 14-year-old daughter of his The Harrad Experiment co-star Tippi Hedren.[16] When Griffith was 15, she and Johnson began living together in a rented house in Laurel Canyon.[16] On her 18th birthday they became engaged, and were married in January 1976; they filed for divorce that July.[16][17] In early 1989, they reunited and conceived a child,[16] Dakota Johnson (born 1989), and were married again from that year until 1996.

Johnson lived with actress Patti D'Arbanville.[17] from 1981 to 1988.[18] The couple has a son, Jesse Wayne Johnson (born December 7, 1982).[19] A 1989 description of the couple's life in the 1980s said,

...[O]n Jan. 17, 1981, ... D'Arbanville ... met Johnson at an L.A. restaurant. "I saw this gorgeous guy," she says, "and I ran after him. saying, 'Hey you.' It turned out to be Donny. I said, 'So, Donny, how many times have you been married?' He said, 'Three.' I said, 'Say hello to No. 4.'...." Johnson ditched his date, Tanya Tucker, and spent the night with Patti. "One month later," she says, "I was pregnant." The couple planned to marry that fall, but D'Arbanville changed her mind. "I didn't see the point," she says. "Besides, there were areas in which we didn't get along." Drinking was one of them. Shortly after becoming pregnant, Patti sobered up. "Donny didn't," she says "[and] we grew further apart." ... Johnson eventually stopped drinking with D'Arbanville's help.... Miami Vice took Johnson to Florida in 1984, and the couple split a year later....[18]

Johnson next had a relationship with Barbra Streisand, lasting into at least September 1988.[16]

On April 29, 1999, he married San Francisco socialite and Montessori nursery school teacher Kelley Phleger, then 30, at the Pacific Heights mansion of Ann and Gordon Getty.[20] Actor Robert Wagner served as best man, and Mayor Willie Brown presided over the civil ceremony.[20] Johnson and Phleger have three children together: a daughter, Atherton Grace Johnson (born December 28, 1999),[21] and two sons, Jasper Breckinridge Johnson (born June 6, 2002),[22] and Deacon Johnson (born April 29, 2006).[23][24]

Legal problems[edit]

In November 2002,[25] German customs officers at the Swiss-German[25] border performed a routine search of Johnson's car.[25] Bank statements evidencing US$8 billion in transactions were found in the trunk of his car.[25][26][27] He was accompanied in his black Mercedes-Benz[26] by three men: an investment adviser,[26] a personal assistant,[26] and a third of unknown identity.[26] Initially it was thought Johnson was involved in money laundering,[27] but he was cleared of wrongdoing.[28]

In May 2008, Johnson came within hours of losing his Woody Creek, Colorado home to foreclosure; he paid off his $14.5 million debts less than 24 hours before a scheduled auction of the property.[29]

In July 2010, a Los Angeles jury awarded Johnson $23.2 million in a lawsuit against production company Rysher Entertainment, from whom Johnson sought a share of profits commensurate with his ownership of half the copyright of Nash Bridges.[30] Rysher announced it would appeal the verdict.[31] In January 2013, after recalculating interest and avoiding an additional appeal, Rysher paid Johnson $19 million to end the lawsuit.[32]

Reception[edit]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

YearResultAwardCategoryTV/Film
1975WinnerSaturn AwardBest Actor[33]A Boy and His Dog
1985NominatedEmmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series[34]Miami Vice
1986WinnerGolden Globe AwardsBest Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama[35]
1987NominatedBest Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama[35]
1988WonAPBA Offshore World CupSuperboat class[1][36]
1996AwardedHollywood Walk of FameStar on the Hollywood Walk of Fame[4]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1970The Magic Garden of Stanley SweetheartStanley Sweetheart
1971ZachariahMatthew
1973Harrad Experiment, TheThe Harrad ExperimentStanley Cole
1973Kung Fu1973 episode - The Spirit Helper
1974Lollipops and RosesFranky
1975Boy and His Dog, AA Boy and His DogVicSaturn Award for Best Actor
1975Return to Macon CountyHarley McKay
1976The Streets of San FranciscoLarry WilsonSeason 5 Episode 9 Hot Dog
1976Law of the Land
1977The CitySergeant Brian ScottTelevision pilot
1977Trial Marriage
1977The Cover Girls
1978Swan LakeBenno (English version) (voice)
1978Pressure Point
1978Ski Lift to DeathMike Sloan
1978The Two-Five
1978Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold
1978First, You Cry
1979Tales of the Unexpected
1979Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and GrillTelevision film
1979The RebelsJudson FletcherMiniseries
1980From Here to EternityCanceled after 13 episodes
1980Beulah LandMiniseries
1980Revenge of the Stepford WivesTelevision film
1981Elvis and the Beauty QueenElvis PresleyTelevision film
1981Two Lives of Carol Letner, TheThe Two Lives of Carol LetnerTelevision film
1981Soggy Bottom, U.S.A.Jacob Gorch
1982MelanieCarl
1984–1989Miami ViceDet. James "Sonny" Crockett111 Episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
1985Cease FireTim Murphy
1985Long Hot Summer, TheThe Long Hot SummerBen QuickTelevision film
1987G.I. Joe: The MovieLt. Falcondirect-to-video
1988Sweet Hearts DanceWiley Boon
1989Dead BangJerry Beck
1990The Hot SpotHarry Madox
1991Harley Davidson and the Marlboro ManMarlboro
1991ParadiseBen Reed
1993Born YesterdayPaul Verrall
1993Guilty as SinDavid Edgar Greenhill
1995In Pursuit of HonorSgt. John LibbeyHBO film
1996–2001Nash BridgesNash BridgesExecutive producer
122 Episodes
1996Tin CupDavid Simms
1998Goodbye LoverBen Dunmore
2003Word of HonorLt. Benjamin TysonTelevision film
Co-executive producer
2005Just LegalGrant H. CooperCancelled after 3 episodes the rest of the episodes were later aired
8 episodes (2005–06)
2007Moondance AlexanderDante Longpre
2007BastardiSante PateneItalian film
2008Lange Flate Ballær 2Admiral BurnettNorwegian film
2008Torno a vivere da soloNicoItalian film
2010When in Rome[37]Beth's DadUncredited role
2010MacheteLt. Von Jackson
2010–2012Eastbound & DownEduardo Sanchez Powers
2011Good Old Fashioned Orgy, AA Good Old Fashioned OrgyDad
2011Bucky Larson: Born to Be a StarMiles Deep
2012Django UnchainedSpencer "Big Daddy" Bennett
2014Cold in JulyJim Bob
2014The Other WomanFrank Whitten
2014From Dusk till Dawn: The SeriesEarl McGrawTV series; main cast

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

TitleDetailsPeak chart positions
US
[38]
AUT
[39]
FIN
[40]
FRA
[41]
GER
[42]
NL
[43]
NOR
[44]
SWE
[45]
SWI
[46]
Heartbeat17353207347
Let It Roll
  • Release date: September 20, 1989
  • Label: Epic Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette
231715219356
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

TitleDetails
The Essential

Singles[edit]

YearSinglePeak positionsAlbum
US
[47]
AUT
[39]
FIN
[40]
FRA
[48]
GER
[49]
NL
[43]
NOR
[44]
SWE
[45]
SWI
[50]
UK
[51]
1986"Heartbeat"534610516646Heartbeat
"Heartache Away"56223125
1987"Voice on a Hotline"59
1989"Tell It Like It Is"13626684Let It Roll
"Other People's Lives"465753
"A Better Place" (with Yuri)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Featured singles[edit]

YearSingleArtistPeak chart positionsAlbum
US
[52]
AUS
[53]
FRA
[48]
GER
[49]
NL
[43]
UK
[54]
1988"Till I Loved You"Barbra Streisand25342226416Till I Loved You

Videography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Don Johnson Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Don Johnson Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story". Biography.com. 1949-12-15. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  3. ^ Schindehette, Susan (1989-02-27). "A Baby for Don and Melanie". People. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Don Johnson at Hollywood.com". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  5. ^ Twardy, Chuck (1986-02-23). "Don Johnson at KU". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Stanley Sweetheart Seeks in Monstrous Society". Tri-City Herald. Associated Press. June 19, 1970. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.sunsetstript.com/2008/11/26/murder-of-sal-mineo-february-1976/
  9. ^ "Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With a Trailer for Machete". Dreadcentral.com. 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "The coolest voice in LeBron James' head belongs to -- Don Johnson?". Los Angeles Times. 2010-10-26. pp. Ministry of Gossip. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  12. ^ John Anderson. "A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  13. ^ Sandy Schaefer (October 2011). "Don Johnson Joins Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'". screenrant.com. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ Zoglin, Richard (1985-09-16). "Cool Cops, Hot Show". Time Magazine (Time Inc.). Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  15. ^ Des Barres, Pamela. I'm With The Band (2005) pp. 230-246
  16. ^ a b c d e "A Baby for Don and Melanie". People. February 27, 1989. 
  17. ^ a b Zoglin, Richard (1985-09-16). "Cool Cops, Hot Show". Time Magazine (Time Inc.). Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  18. ^ a b Dougherty, Margot; Sheff, Vicki (April 3, 1989). "Meet the New Patti D'Arbanville, Star of Wiseguy and Wired, No Longer Just Don Johnson's Ex". People 31 (13). Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  19. ^ Green, Michelle (December 3, 1984). "Miami Vice and a Good Woman Save Bad Boy Don Johnson". People. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Sutton, Larry. "Four Better or Worse". People 51 (18). Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  21. ^ Craig, David Cobb (January 1, 2000). "Passages - Births". People. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  22. ^ Abel, Olivia (June 24, 2002). "Passages > Births". People. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  23. ^ Wren, Jennifer (May 15, 2006). "Passages > Births". People. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  24. ^ Rozen, Leah; Mascia, Kristen; Ellenson, Ruth Andrew; Lynch, Jason (August 7, 2006). "Picks and Pans Review: Where Are They Now?". People. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c d Cironneau, Lionel (2003-03-12). "Germany inspects papers linked to Johnson". USA Today (Germany). Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Welkos, Robert W. (2003-03-13). "For Actor Don Johnson, $8 Billion Worth of Bad Publicity in Germany". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  27. ^ a b "on Johnson Denies Laundering Money". CNN. Associated Press. 2003-03-16. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  28. ^ "Don Johnson's off the hook". Los Angeles Times. 2003-05-07. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  29. ^ "The Famous, Foreclosed: Celebrity Foreclosures Photo Gallery". TruTV. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  30. ^ Kim, Victoria (July 8, 2010). "Actor Don Johnson is awarded $23.2 million in 'Nash Bridges' lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Actor Don Johnson is awarded $23.2 million in 'Nash Bridges' lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. 
  32. ^ Gardner, Eriq (February 11, 2013). "Don Johnson Gets $19 Million to End 'Nash Bridges' Dispute". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Awards Database: Don Johnson". The Envelope: The Awards Insider (LA Times). Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  34. ^ "Advanced Primetime Awards Search". Academy of Television Arts and Science. www.emmys.tv. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  35. ^ a b "Miami Vice". Hollywood Foreign Press Association/Golden Globes. www.hfpa.org. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  36. ^ Friedman, Jack; Cindy Dampier (1990-05-28). "With Kurt Russell and Chuck Norris in Tow, Don Johnson Risks His Neck on a New Miami Vice—superboat Racing". People 33 (21): 101–102. 
  37. ^ "Don Johnson's road leads to "Rome"". Reuters. 2008-08-10. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  38. ^ "Don Johnson Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  39. ^ a b "austriancharts.at - Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  40. ^ a b Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 170. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  41. ^ "InfoDisc - Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artste - Sélection de l'Artiste - Choisissez une Lettre: J > Don Johnson". InfoDisc. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  42. ^ "German Charts (Albums) > Don Johnson" (in German). charts.de Media Control Charts. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  43. ^ a b c "dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "norwegiancharts.com - Norwegian charts portal > Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  45. ^ a b "swedishcharts.com - Swedish charts portal > Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  46. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Don Johnson Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  48. ^ a b "lescharts.com - French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  49. ^ a b "German Charts (Singles) > Don Johnson" (in German). charts.de Media Control Charts. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  50. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  51. ^ "Chart Stats - Don Johnson". chartstats.com. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  52. ^ "Barbra Streisand Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  53. ^ "australian-charts.com - Australian charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Chart Stats - Barbra Streisand and Don Johnson". chartstats.com. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]