Lamont Johnson

Ernest Lamont Johnson Jr.[1] (September 30, 1922 October 24, 2010) was an American actor and film director who has appeared in and directed many television shows and movies. He won two Emmy Awards.

Lamont Johnson
Ernest Lamont Johnson Jr.

(1922-09-30)September 30, 1922
DiedOctober 24, 2010(2010-10-24) (aged 88)
OccupationActor, director
Years active19512000
AwardsDGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television

for: My Sweet Charlie (1970) (TV) Shared with:

Ralph Ferrin (assistant director) (plaque)

Early years

Johnson was born in Stockton, California,[2] the son of Ruth Alice (née Fairchild) and Ernest Lamont Johnson, who was a realtor.[3] He attended Pasadena Junior College and UCLA and was active in theatrical productions at both schools.[4]


When he was 16,[2] Johnson began his career in radio, eventually playing the role of Tarzan in a popular syndicated series in 1951.[5] He also worked as a newscaster and a disc jockey.[2] Johnson was also one of several actors to play Archie Goodwin in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe, opposite Sydney Greenstreet on NBC Radio. He then turned to films and television, first as an actor, then as a director.


Johnson's directing debut came in 1948 with the play Yes Is For a Very Young Man in New York.[6] His television directing debut was on an episode of NBC Matinee Theater.[4] Johnson also directed productions of the operas The Man in the Moon (1959), Iphigénie en Tauride (1962), and Orfeo (1990), and he directed an installment of the series Felicity plus the TV movie The Man Next Door (1996).


Johnson was nominated for nine Emmy Awards, winning twice, for Wallenberg: A Hero's Story (1985) and Lincoln (1988) — both for Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries Movie Or A Dramatic Special. He was nominated in the same category for Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232 (1992), Unnatural Causes (1987), Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984), Fear on Trial (1976), The Execution of Private Slovik (1974) and That Certain Summer (1973). His other Emmy nomination was for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, also for Wallenberg: A Hero's Story.[7]

Johnson won five Directors Guild of America Awards, winning in the category Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Lincoln (1988) and for That Certain Summer (1972). He also won DGA Awards for Most Outstanding TV Director (1972) and for Television — My Sweet Charlie (1970) and "Oscar Underwood Story": Profiles in Courage (1964). Additionally, he was nominated for DGA Awards for Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Wallenberg: A Hero's Story (1985), Fear on Trial (1975) and The Execution of Private Slovik (1974). Another DGA Award nomination was for Dramatic Series for Birdbath (1971).[8]

Personal life

Johnson married actress Toni Merrill in Paris in 1945.[1] They had two children: Jeremy Carolyn (daughter) and Christopher Anthony (son).[2]


Johnson died of heart failure in Monterey, California, October 24, 2010.[1]



  1. Vallance, Tom (December 26, 2010). "Lamont Johnson: Emmy-winning film and television director". Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  2. "Johnson, Lamont". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  3. Lamont Johnson Biography (1922-)
  4. Thompson, Ruth E. (May 15, 1965). "Top Director Former Actor". Simpson's Leader-Times. Pennsylvania, Kittanning. p. 15. Retrieved October 5, 2016 via
  5. ERBmania! – Adkins/DVO #55
  6. "Quiet rise of a good director noted". The Sedalia Democrat. Missouri, Sedalia. May 5, 1974. p. 43. Retrieved October 5, 2016 via
  7. "("Lamont Johnson" search results)". Television Academy. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  8. "("Lamont Johnson" search results)". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
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