Donald Wayne Johnson (born December 15, 1949) is an American actor, producer, director, singer, and songwriter. He played the role of James "Sonny" Crockett in the 1980s television series Miami Vice, winning a Golden Globe for his work in the role. He also had the eponymous lead role in the 1990s cop series Nash Bridges. He has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Johnson was the American Power Boat Association's 1988 World Champion of the Offshore World Cup.
Johnson in 2019
Donald Wayne Johnson
December 15, 1949
Flat Creek, Missouri, U.S.
|Home town||Wichita, Kansas, U.S.|
(m. 1968; annulled 1968)
(m. 1973; annulled 1973)
(m. 1976; div. 1976)
(m. 1989; div. 1996)
|Partner(s)||Patti D'Arbanville (1981–1985)|
|Children||5, including Jesse and Dakota|
Donald Wayne Johnson was born December 15, 1949, in Flat Creek, Missouri, to Nell (née Wilson), a beautician, and Wayne Fred Johnson, who was a farmer. At the time of his birth, Johnson's mother and father were 17 and 19 years old, respectively. Johnson was raised in poverty in Wichita, Kansas, where his parents relocated when he was six years old.
He graduated from Wichita South High School, where he was involved in the high school's theater 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." After graduating from high school in 1967, he enrolled at the University of Kansas as a theater major, but dropped out after one year. He subsequently relocated to San Francisco, California to attend the American Conservatory Theater.
Johnson's 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 T. Westbrook, son of columnist Sheilah Graham). He continued to work on stage, film and television without breaking 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.
From 1984 to 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 Michael Mann / Universal Television cop series, Miami Vice. The Sonny Crockett character 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, wore expensive timepieces by Rolex and Ebel, and lived on a 12-metre (40 ft) (later a 42-foot [13 m]) Endeavour yacht with his pet alligator, Elvis. Miami Vice was noted for its revolutionary use of music, cinematography, and imagery and its glitzy take on the police drama genre. In the show, his partner was Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas. Between seasons, Johnson gained further renown through several TV miniseries, such as the 1985 TV remake of The Long, Hot Summer.
Johnson later starred in the 1996–2001 CBS-TV police drama Nash Bridges with Cheech Marin, Jeff Perry, Jaime P. Gomez, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as his daughter Cassidy, James Gammon as Nick Bridges, Nash's father and Wendy Moniz. Johnson portrayed the title role of Nash Bridges, an inspector (later promoted to captain) for the San Francisco Police Department. In Nash Bridges Johnson was again paired with a flashy convertible car, this time a Yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda.
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 of the eight produced 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 favor 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.
Johnson and Jon Heder co-hosted WWE's Raw on January 18, 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.
Johnson had a supporting role in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, playing a southern plantation owner named Spencer 'Big Daddy' Bennett.
In 2014, Johnson starred as the character "Jim Bob" opposite Sam Shepard and Michael C. Hall in Jim Mickle's critically acclaimed crime film, Cold in July.
In 2015 Johnson began starring in the ABC prime time soap opera Blood & Oil.
Johnson released two albums of pop music in the 1980s, one in 1986 and the other in 1989. His single "Heartbeat" reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was the title track from his first album, and was a collaboration with Robert Tepper. 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," which appeared on their 1979 album Enlightened Rogues. "Till I Loved You" was the title track (a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100) of a studio album released on October 25, 1988, on Columbia Records. The song was a duet with then-girlfriend Barbra Streisand. The song was re-released on the Streisand album Duets in 2002.
World Championship Powerboat Racing
In 1986 Johnson scored his first motor sport victory, a 1,100-mile powerboat race, New Orleans to St. Louis, up the Mississippi River. Characterized by shipmates as an aggressive, fearless pilot who did not make mistakes, Johnson was crowned World Powerboat Champion in 1988.
Relationships and family
Johnson has had four wives in five marriages, three of which were brief. His first two marriages were annulled within a matter of days. The names of Johnson's first two wives have not been made public, though they were said to have been a dancer and a "rich bimbo". In the early 1970s, Johnson lived with groupie Pamela Des Barres. During the first half of 1972, he met Melanie Griffith, the 14-year-old daughter of his Harrad Experiment co-star Tippi Hedren. When Griffith was 15, she and Johnson began living together in a rented house in Laurel Canyon. On her 18th birthday, they became engaged, and were married in January 1976; they filed for divorce that July. They reunited and conceived a daughter close to the start of 1989, Dakota Johnson (born October 4, 1989) and were married again from that year until 1996.
In 1980, he dated Sally Adams, who had been Telly Savalas's girlfriend, and used the name Sally Savalas, the mother of actress Nicollette Sheridan. Cybill Shepherd has written of a liaison with Johnson in her autobiography.
...[On] 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....
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. Actor Robert Wagner served as best man, and Mayor Willie Brown presided over the civil ceremony. Johnson and Phleger have three children together: a daughter, Atherton Grace (born December 28, 1999), and two sons, Jasper Breckinridge (born June 6, 2002), and Deacon (born April 29, 2006).
In November 2002, German customs officers at the Swiss–German border performed a routine search of Johnson's car. Bank statements evidencing US$8 billion in transactions were found in the trunk of his car. He was accompanied in his black Mercedes-Benz by three men: an investment adviser, a personal assistant, and a third unknown individual who could not be identified. Initially it was thought Johnson was involved in money laundering, but he was cleared of wrongdoing.
In May 2008, within hours of losing his Woody Creek, Colorado home to foreclosure, Johnson paid off his $14.5 million debt.
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. Rysher announced it would appeal the verdict. In January 2013, Rysher settled the suit with a $19 million payment.
Awards and recognitions
|1975||Winner||Saturn Award||Best Actor||A Boy and His Dog|
|1985||Nominated||Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Miami Vice|
|1986||Winner||Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama|
|1987||Nominated||Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama|
|1988||Won||APBA Offshore World Cup||Superboat class|
|1996||Awarded||Hollywood Walk of Fame||Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame|
|1970||The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart||Stanley Sweetheart|
|1973||The Harrad Experiment||Stanley Cole|
|1974||Lollipops, Roses and Talangka||Franky|
|1975||A Boy and His Dog||Vic|
|1975||Return to Macon County||Harley McKay|
|1981||Swan Lake||Benno (voice)||English version|
|1981||Soggy Bottom, U.S.A.||Jacob Gorch|
|1982||Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp||Wazir's Son (voice)||English version|
|1985||Cease Fire||Tim Murphy|
|1987||G.I. Joe: The Movie||Lieutenant Vincent R. Falcone/Lt. Falcon (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|1988||Sweet Hearts Dance||Wiley Boon|
|1989||Dead Bang||Jerry Beck|
|1990||The Hot Spot||Harry Madox|
|1991||Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man||Robert Anderson/The Marlboro Man|
|1993||Born Yesterday||Paul Verrall|
|1993||Guilty as Sin||David Edgar Greenhill|
|1996||Tin Cup||David Simms|
|1998||Goodbye Lover||Ben Dunmore|
|2007||Moondance Alexander||Dante Longpre|
|2008||Long Flat Balls II||Admiral Burnett|
|2008||Torno a vivere da solo||Nico|
|2010||When in Rome||Mr. Martin||Uncredited|
|2010||Machete||Lt. Von Jackson|
|2011||Four Loko Vineyards||Mr. Four Loko||Short film|
|2011||A Good Old Fashioned Orgy||Jerry Keppler||Uncredited|
|2011||Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Miles Deep|
|2012||Django Unchained||Spencer "Big Daddy" Bennett|
|2014||Cold in July||Jim Bob Luke|
|2014||The Other Woman||Frank Whitten|
|2015||Alex of Venice||Roger|
|2017||Vengeance: A Love Story||Jay Kirkpatrick|
|2017||Brawl in Cell Block 99||Warden Tuggs|
|2018||Dragged Across Concrete||Lt. G. Calvert|
|2019||Knives Out||Richard Drysdale|
|1971||Serge||Deloy Coopersmith||Episode: "The Combatants"|
|1972||Young Dr. Kildare||Ted Thatcher||Episode: "House Call"|
|1972||The Bold Ones: The New Doctors||Ev Howard||Episode: "Endtheme"|
|1973||Kung Fu||Nashebo||Episode: "The Spirit-Helper"|
|1974||The Rookies||Al Devering||Episode: "The Teacher"|
|1976||The Streets of San Francisco||Officer Larry Wilson||Episode: "Hot Dog"|
|1976||Barnaby Jones||Wayne Lockwood||Episode: "Renegade's Child"|
|1976||Law of the Land||Quirt||Television film|
|1977||The City||Sergeant Brian Scott||Pilot|
|1977||Cover Girls||Johnny Wilson||Television film|
|1977||Nashville 99||Mike Watling||Episode: "Sing Me a Song to Die By"|
|1977||Eight Is Enough||Doug||Episode: "Trial Marriage"|
|1977||Big Hawaii||Gandy||Episode: "Gandy"|
|1977||Police Story||Lee Morgan||Episode: "Trigger Point"|
|1978||What Really Happened to the Class of '65?||Edgar||Episode: "Class Crusader"|
|1978||The American Girls||Everett Simms||Episode: "A Crash Course in Survival"|
|1978||Pressure Point||Television film|
|1978||Ski Lift to Death||Mike Sloan||Television film|
|1978||The Two-Five||Charlie Morgan||Television film|
|1978||Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold||Gunther||Television film|
|1978||First, You Cry||Daniel Easton||Television film|
|1979||Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill||Cowboy||Television film|
|1979||The Rebels||Judson Fletcher||2 episodes|
|1980||Beulah Land||Bonard Davis||Episode: "Part I"|
|1980||Revenge of the Stepford Wives||Officer Andy Brady||Television film|
|1980||From Here to Eternity||Private Jefferson "Jeff" Davis Prewitt||13 episodes|
|1981||Elvis and the Beauty Queen||Elvis Presley||Television film|
|1981||The Two Lives of Carol Letner||Bob Howard||Television film|
|1982||Matt Houston||Terry Spence||Episode: "The Woman in White"|
|1983||Six Pack||Brewster Baker||Pilot|
|1984–1989||Miami Vice||Detective James "Sonny" Crockett||111 episodes|
|1985||Tales of the Unexpected||Reeve Baker||Episode: "People Don't Do Such Things"|
|1985||The Long Hot Summer||Ben Quick||Television film|
|1988; 2015||Saturday Night Live||Himself||2 episodes|
|1990||Seriously...Phil Collins||Himself||Television film|
|1995||In Pursuit of Honor||Sgt. John Libbey||Television film|
|1996–2001||Nash Bridges||Inspector/Captain Nash Bridges||122 episodes; also executive producer|
|2003||Word of Honor||Lt. Benjamin Tyson||Television film; also co-executive producer|
|2005–2006||Just Legal||Grant H. Cooper||8 episodes|
|2010–2011||Glenn Martin, DDS||Grandpa Whitey (voice)||4 episodes|
|2010–2012||Eastbound & Down||Eduardo Sanchez Powers||5 episodes|
|2011||A Mann's World||Allan Mann||Pilot|
|2014–2015||From Dusk till Dawn: The Series||Sheriff Earl McGraw||5 episodes|
|2015||Blood & Oil||Hap Briggs||10 episodes|
|2016||TripTank||Johnny Bahama (voice)||Episode: "The Director"|
|2017||A Series of Unfortunate Events||Sir||2 episodes|
|2017||Sick Note||Kenny West||6 episodes|
|2018||LA to Vegas||Jack Silver||Episode: "Jack Silver"|
|2019||Watchmen||Chief Judd Crawford||Episode 1|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Let It Roll||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|1987||"Voice on a Hotline"||—||—||—||—||—||59||—||—||—||—|
|1989||"Tell It Like It Is"||—||13||—||6||2||6||—||—||6||84||Let It Roll|
|"Other People's Lives"||—||—||—||46||57||53||—||—||—||—|
|"A Better Place" (with Yuri)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- 1987: Heartbeat - Full Length Video (VHS) - (Release date: May 10, 1987)
- "Don Johnson". biography.com. A&E Television Networks. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Don Johnson at Hollywood.com". Hollywood.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
- "YACHTING; Star of TV and Powerboating". New York Times. October 15, 1989.
- Room, Adrian. Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5th ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-786-45763-2.
- Twardy, Chuck (February 23, 1986). "Don Johnson at KU". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Parish, James Robert (December 20, 2010). "The Hollywood Book of Breakups". Wiley – via Google Books.
- Maher, Kevin (June 30, 2014). "Don Johnson: I gave up my vices to be with a teacher". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 20, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With a Trailer for Machete". Dreadcentral.com. September 3, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Archived January 22, 2010, at Archive.today
- "The coolest voice in LeBron James' head belongs to -- Don Johnson?". Los Angeles Times. October 26, 2010. pp. Ministry of Gossip. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- John Anderson. "A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy". Variety.com. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- Sandy Schaefer (October 2011). "Don Johnson Joins Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'". screenrant.com. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister. "'Boom': Don Johnson Set Exec Produce & Star In ABC Drama Pilot - Variety". Variety. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "Don Johnson Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- Schindehette, Susan (February 27, 1989). "A Baby for Don and Melanie". People. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Stated by Barbara Walters in narration of her 1987 interview with Johnson
- "Archives - Philly.com". articles.philly.com.
- Des Barres, Pamela. I'm With The Band (2005) pp. 230-246
- "A Baby for Don and Melanie". People. February 27, 1989.
- Zoglin, Richard (September 16, 1985). "Cool Cops, Hot Show". Time Magazine. Time Inc. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Star-News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
- Shepherd, Cybill (2001). Cybill Disobedience. Avon. ISBN 0-06-103014-7.
- 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.
- Green, Michelle (December 3, 1984). "Miami Vice and a Good Woman Save Bad Boy Don Johnson". People. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Sutton, Larry (May 17, 1999). "Four Better or Worse". People. 51 (18). Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Craig, David Cobb (January 1, 2000). "Passages - Births". People. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Abel, Olivia (June 24, 2002). "Passages > Births". People. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Wren, Jennifer (May 15, 2006). "Passages > Births". People. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Rozen, Leah; Mascia, Kristen; Ellenson, Ruth Andrew; Lynch, Jason (August 7, 2006). "Picks and Pans Review: Where Are They Now?". People. Archived from the original on September 14, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Cironneau, Lionel (March 12, 2003). "Germany inspects papers linked to Johnson". USA Today. Germany. Associated Press. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
- Welkos, Robert W. (March 13, 2003). "For Actor Don Johnson, $8 Billion Worth of Bad Publicity in Germany". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
- "Don Johnson Denies Laundering Money". CNN. Associated Press. March 16, 2003. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
- "Don Johnson's off the hook". Los Angeles Times. May 7, 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
- "The Famous, Foreclosed: Celebrity Foreclosures Photo Gallery". TruTV. April 27, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Kim, Victoria (July 8, 2010). "Actor Don Johnson is awarded $23.2 million in 'Nash Bridges' lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Actor Don Johnson is awarded $23.2 million in 'Nash Bridges' lawsuit". Los Angeles Times.
- Gardner, Eriq (February 11, 2013). "Don Johnson Gets $19 Million to End 'Nash Bridges' Dispute". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Awards Database: Don Johnson". The Envelope: The Awards Insider. LA Times. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- "Advanced Primetime Awards Search". Academy of Television Arts and Science. www.emmys.tv. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
- "Miami Vice". Hollywood Foreign Press Association/Golden Globes. www.hfpa.org. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
- Friedman, Jack; Cindy Dampier (May 28, 1990). "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.
- Snierson, Dan (January 3, 2018). "Don Johnson to guest on Fox comedy LA to Vegas". EW.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- "Don Johnson Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "austriancharts.at - Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- 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.
- "InfoDisc - Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artste - Sélection de l'Artiste - Choisissez une Lettre: J > Don Johnson". InfoDisc. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- "German Charts (Albums) > Don Johnson" (in German). charts.de Media Control Charts. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "norwegiancharts.com - Norwegian charts portal > Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "swedishcharts.com - Swedish charts portal > Don Johnson". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "lescharts.com - French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "German Charts (Singles) > Don Johnson" (in German). charts.de Media Control Charts. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "The Official Charts Company - Don Johnson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Barbra Streisand Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "australian-charts.com - Australian charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "The Official Charts Company - Barbra Streisand and Don Johnson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Hershkovits, David. Don Johnson, in series, 2M Communications Production[s]. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. ISBN 0-312-90165-8
- Latham, Caroline. Miami Magic: Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, the Inside Story of the Stars of 'Miami Vice' [and of their other television and film work]. New York: Zebra Books, 1985. N.B.: The subtitle given, lacking on the t.p., is from the pbk. book's front cover. ISBN 0-8217-1800-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Don Johnson.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Don Johnson|