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Ben Johnson Jr.

Biography

Acting professional, stuntman and cowboy who also won an Academy Honor for his part while Sam the Lion in the 1971 European, THE FINAL Picture Display. He was created within the Osage Indian Booking in Oklahoma to a family group of combined Cherokee and Irish history. He became a global Champion from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association before you begin his profession in the films. He died of the coronary attack in his past due seventies and was survived by his mom, Ollie Susan Workmon Johnson-Rider, who passed away at age 101. He was wedded to Carol Elaine Jones for over fifty years. He became thinking about film performing after working like a equine wrangler for movie director Howard Hughes’ 1943 Traditional western film, The Outlaw.

Quick Facts


Full Name Ben Johnson
Date Of Birth June 13, 1918
Died April 8, 1996, Mesa, Arizona, United States
Place Of Birth Oklahoma
Height 1.88 m
Profession Movie Actor
Nationality American
Spouse Carol Elaine Jones
Parents Ollie Susan Johnson, Ben Johnson, Sr.
Awards Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
Movies The Last Picture Show, The Wild Bunch, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Wagon Master, Shane, Rio Grande, Chisum, Major Dundee, One-Eyed Jacks, The Getaway, The Train Robbers, Mighty Joe Young, The Sugarland Express, Junior Bonner, Breakheart Pass, 3 Godfathers, The Undefeated, The Shadow Riders, Bite the Bullet, Dillinger, Will Penny, Hang 'Em High, The Rare Breed, Red Dawn, Kid Blue, Terror Train, Wild Stallion, Fort Bowie, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Angels in the Outfield, The Evening Star, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, The Swarm, Cherry 2000, Grayeagle, Fort Defiance, Something Big, The Hunter, Bonanza: Under Attack, Ten Who Dared, War Drums, Radio Flyer, Soggy Bottom U.S.A., Rebel in Town, The Greatest, Let's Get Harry, Bonanza: The Return, Champions, Tomboy and the Champ, Slim Carter, Hustle
TV Shows The Sacketts, The Monroes, Wild Times
Star Sign Gemini

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Ben's great grandfather Calvin C. Johnson (1840-1915) served in the Confederate States Army with the 14th Arkansas Infantry.
2Had appeared with Harry Carey Jr. in eight films: 3 Godfathers (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), Wagon Master (1950), Cheyenne Autumn (1964), The Undefeated (1969), Wild Times (1980), The Shadow Riders (1982) and Cherry 2000 (1987).
3Had appeared with John Wayne in eight films: Tall in the Saddle (1944), 3 Godfathers (1948), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), The Undefeated (1969), Chisum (1970) and The Train Robbers (1973).
4He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7082 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on June 2, 1994.
5Since both he and his father were named "Ben", the younger Johnson was known as "Son" at home. The road marker to the actor's ranch near Shidler, Oklahoma declares it as Ben "Son" Johnson's ranch.
6His wife, Carol, was the daughter of Clarence Young "Fats" Jones, owner of Fats Jones Stables, who supplied horses to many movies and television series.
7Also doubled for Randolph Scott.
8Had appeared in three movies where his first name was Travis: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Sergeant Travis Tyree; Wagon Master (1950), Travis Blue; Rio Grande (1950), Trooper Travis Tyree.
9Johnson got his first big break as a member of John Ford's stock company in the late 1940s. However, during the making of Rio Grande (1949), Johnson and Ford had a brief verbal argument. All seemed well afterward, and nothing further was said of it, so Ben assumed it was completely blown over. However, Ford didn't use Johnson again in another picture for 14 years, when Ben played a small role in Cheyenne Autumn (1964). Johnson's lifelong friend Harry Carey Jr. said he believed the reason was that when Ford was casting The Sun Shines Bright (1953), Johnson's agent heard that Ford wanted him for the role, called Ford--without Johnson's knowledge--and demanded a hefty salary. Outraged at having been squeezed like that, Ford held it against Johnson, and used that and the argument they had during "Rio Grande" as an excuse not to use him again. They did manage to maintain a friendly relationship nonetheless.
10Had initially turned down the role of Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show (1971) when it was first offered to him by Peter Bogdanovich because he thought the script was "dirty", and he did not approve of swearing and nudity in motion pictures. Bogdanovich appealed to John Ford, who got Johnson to change his mind as a favor to him. With the permission of Bogdanovich, Johnson rewrote his role with the offensive words removed. Johnson went on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing the role.
11Had Cherokee and Irish blood.
12Johnson, his father, and nephew have Belt-Buckle awards for team roping.
13His father, Ben Johnson, Sr., was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the Rodeo Historical Society (a support group of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum) in 1961. The Ben Johnson Memorial Award, in honor of his father, is awarded annually to prominent representatives of the western character and spirit (since 1998).
14Johnson and his father, Ben Johnson, Sr., were champion steer ropers. The senior Johnson was also a cattleman and rancher who was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1961. The younger Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1982.
15A prize belt buckle that he won for calf roping was stolen from his car when he visited Houston in 1976; on a repeat visit a decade later, he was an on-air guest on radio station KIKK when a caller returned the buckle to him.
16Died of a heart attack while visiting his mother in the retirement community where, not only she, but he himself lived.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Border Patrol1959TV SeriesHank Colman
Alfred Hitchcock Presents1958TV SeriesSheriff Jeff
The Restless Gun1958TV SeriesSheriff Tim Malachy
Navy Log1958TV SeriesBorder Patrol Officer
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet1958TV SeriesTex Barton
Fort Bowie1958Capt. Thomas Thompson
Slim Carter1957Montana Burriss
War Drums1957Luke Fargo
Cavalcade of America1956TV SeriesCal Bennett
Rebel in Town1956Frank Mason
Oklahoma!1955Wrangler (uncredited)
Shane1953Chris Calloway
Wild Stallion1952Dan Light
Fort Defiance1951Ben Shelby
Rio Grande1950Trooper Travis Tyree
Wagon Master1950Travis / Travis Blue
Mighty Joe Young1949Gregg
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon1949Sgt. Tyree
3 Godfathers1948Posse Man #1
The Gallant Legion1948Ranger (uncredited)
Wyoming1947Cowhand (uncredited)
Badman's Territory1946Deputy Marshal (uncredited)
The Naughty Nineties1945Coach Driver (uncredited)
Corpus Christi Bandits19452nd Stage Driver (uncredited)
Nevada1944Saloon Patron (uncredited)
Tall in the Saddle1944Townsman (uncredited)
The Pinto Bandit1944Race Contestant (uncredited)
Bordertown Gun Fighters1943Messenger (uncredited)
The Outlaw1943Deputy (uncredited)
The Fighting Gringo1939Mexican Barfly (uncredited)
The Evening Star1996Arthur Cotton
Ruby Jean and Joe1996TV MovieBig Man
Bonanza: Under Attack1995TV MovieBronc Evans
Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart1994
Angels in the Outfield1994Hank Murphy
Bonanza: The Return1993TV MovieBronc Evans
Radio Flyer1992Geronimo Bill
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys1991Jesse Dalton
The Chase1991TV MovieLaurienti
Back to Back1989Eli Hix
The Last Ride1989Short
Dark Before Dawn1988The Sheriff
Stranger on My Land1988TV MovieVern Whitman
Cherry 20001987Six Fingered Jake
Trespasses1986August Klein
Let's Get Harry1986Harry Burck Sr.
Dream West1986TV Mini-SeriesJim Bridger
Wild Horses1985TV MovieBill Ward
Red Dawn1984Mr. Mason
Champions1984Burly Cocks
The Shadow Riders1982TV MovieUncle 'Black Jack' Traven
Tex1982Cole Collins
Soggy Bottom, U.S.A.1981Isum Gorch
Terror Train1980Carne
Ruckus1980Sam Bellows
The Hunter1980Sheriff Strong
Wild Times1980TV Mini-SeriesDoc Bogardus
The Sacketts1979TV Mini-SeriesCap Rountree
The Swarm1978Felix
Grayeagle1977John Colter
The Greatest1977Hollis
The Town That Dreaded Sundown1976Captain J.D. Morales
The Savage Bees1976TV MovieSheriff Donald McKew
Breakheart Pass1975Marshal Pearce
Hustle1975Marty Hollinger
Bite the Bullet1975Mister
Locusts1974TV MovieAmos Fletcher
The Sugarland Express1974Captain Tanner
Blood Sport1973TV MovieDwayne Birdsong
Runaway!1973TV MovieHolly Gibson
Dillinger1973Melvin Purvis
Kid Blue1973Sheriff 'Mean John' Simpson
The Red Pony1973TV MovieJess Taylor
The Train Robbers1973Jesse
The Getaway1972Jack Beynon
Junior Bonner1972Buck Roan
Corky1972Boland
Gunsmoke1963-1971TV SeriesHannon / Vern Morland / Ben Crown
Something Big1971Jesse Bookbinder
The Last Picture Show1971Sam the Lion
Bonanza1962-1971TV SeriesKelly James / Sgt. Samuel Bellis / Deputy Sheriff Stan Mace
Chisum1970James Pepper
The Undefeated1969Short Grub
The Wild Bunch1969Tector Gorch
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1969TV Series
The Virginian1963-1968TV SeriesJed Cooper / Joe Hogan / Jim Brandt / ...
Hang 'Em High1968Marshal Dave Bliss
Will Penny1967Alex (Flat Iron Ranch foreman)
The Monroes1966-1967TV SeriesSleeve
ABC Stage 671966TV SeriesSheriff Barbee
The Rare Breed1966Harter
Branded1966TV SeriesBill Latigo
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1965TV SeriesBurt Wade
Major Dundee1965Sergeant Chillum
Perry Mason1964TV SeriesKelly
Cheyenne Autumn1964Trooper Plumtree (uncredited)
Stoney Burke1962TV SeriesRex Donally
Have Gun - Will Travel1960-1962TV SeriesJohn Bartlett / Sam Crabbe / John Anderson
Route 661961-1962TV SeriesDel McNab / Alley Golden
Laramie1960-1961TV SeriesTarp / Jim - Driver / Billy Pardee
Tomboy and the Champ1961Uncle Jim
One-Eyed Jacks1961Bob Amory
Ten Who Dared1960George Bradley

Stunts

Stunts

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Oklahoma!1955stunt double - uncredited
3 Godfathers1948stunts - uncredited
The Kissing Bandit1948stunts - uncredited
Red River1948stunts - uncredited
The Gallant Legion1948stunts - uncredited
Fort Apache1948stunts - uncredited
Wyoming1947stunt double: Bill Elliott - uncredited / stunts - uncredited
Ramrod1947stunts - uncredited
Angel and the Badman1947stunt double - uncredited
Out California Way1946stunt double: Monte Hale - uncredited
Smoky1946stunts - uncredited
Badman's Territory1946stunts - uncredited
California Gold Rush1946stunt double - uncredited
Santa Fe Saddlemates1945stunt double - uncredited
Corpus Christi Bandits1945stunts - uncredited
Nevada1944stunt double: Robert Mitchum - uncredited
The Old Texas Trail1944stunts - uncredited
Tall in the Saddle1944stunts - uncredited
Tarzan's Desert Mystery1943stunt double - uncredited
Blazing Guns1943stunts - uncredited
Arizona Trail1943stunt double - uncredited
Bordertown Gun Fighters1943stunts - uncredited
Riders of the Rio Grande1943stunts - uncredited
Riders of the Northwest Mounted1943stunt double: Russell Hayden - uncredited
The Outlaw1943stunts - uncredited
The Durango Kid1940stunt double: Charles Starrett - uncredited
The Fighting Gringo1939stunts - uncredited

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch1976materials provided by
The Outlaw1943horse wrangler - uncredited

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Wagon Master1950performer: "SONG OF THE WAGON MASTER"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right1996DocumentaryHimself
100 Years of the Hollywood Western1994TV Movie documentaryHimself
Warren Oates: Across the Border1993DocumentaryHimself
John Ford1993TV Movie documentaryHimself
Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas1991DocumentaryHimself
Thank Ya, Thank Ya Kindly1991TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood on Horses1989Video documentaryHimself
Oklahoma Passage1989TV Mini-SeriesHimself
Étoiles et toiles1986TV Series documentaryHimself
Hollywood Greats1984TV Series documentaryHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1978TV SeriesHimself - Actor
Inside 'The Swarm'1978TV Movie documentaryHimself
The 48th Annual Academy Awards1976TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1972-1974TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Wayne Train1973TV Short documentaryHimself
The 44th Annual Academy Awards1972TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
American Masters2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters2006DocumentarySam the Lion (uncredited)
Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies2001TV Special documentaryHimself
Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs2000TV Movie documentary
The 69th Annual Academy Awards1997TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)
Hollywood Mavericks1990DocumentaryTector Gorch (uncredited)
Reginald LeBorg - Man nannte mich den Alleskönner1987TV Movie documentaryLuke Fargo
The Bull of the West1972TV MovieSpinner
The American West of John Ford1971TV Movie documentaryTrooper Travis Tyree (uncredited)
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1968TV SeriesGeorge Bradley

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1996Maverick AwardTaos Talking Picture Festival
1994Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureAwarded on June 2, 1994 at 7083 Hollywood Blvd.
1983Golden BootGolden Boot Awards
1976Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTheatrical Motion PictureBite the Bullet (1975)· John C. Champion (director)
· Richard Brooks (writer)
· Jan-Michael Vincent (actor)
· Candice Bergen (actor)
· James Coburn (actor)
· Gene Hackman (actor)
1973BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Last Picture Show (1971)
1972OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Last Picture Show (1971)
1972Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting Actor - Motion PictureThe Last Picture Show (1971)
1972NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest Supporting ActorThe Last Picture Show (1971)
1971NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Last Picture Show (1971)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1971NSFC AwardNational Society of Film Critics Awards, USABest Supporting ActorThe Last Picture Show (1971)


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1[asked about Sam Peckinpah] Sam was a fatalist. He was a pretty talented guy, but he didn't care much about life, and some of what he did, he didn't care much about the outcome as long as the movie had blood and guts and thunder. He was pretty dingy. I saved his life about a dozen times, I guess. He'd start drinking whiskey and taking pills and he'd go crazy. He'd go into a bar, walk through the place and find the biggest guy there, and pick a fight with him. He was crazy.
2I can't handle phony people, and there are a lot of them in Hollywood. I've built my life around the principles of honesty, realism and respect, and if the people in Hollywood are so pumped up on themselves they can't deal with that, I say the hell with 'em. I think I've won the respect of some people over there and I think I managed to stay real.
3When I left Oklahoma, I wasn't even sure which direction Hollywood was, but I could ride a horse pretty good. I had no formal education to speak of. I was a cowboy from the time I hit the ground. I knew if a cow weighed 1,000 pounds and bought $10 a hundred, I knew how much that was. But I was fortunate because people accepted my character. I ran my life a certain way. I didn't hobnob with the elites because I didn't do drugs and I didn't drink a lot of whiskey . . . oh, I might take a drink now and then, but you know what I mean.
4[speaking about how his life was affected by winning the Oscar for The Last Picture Show (1971)] After I won that old Oscar, everybody thought I knew something. I didn't know any more than I did before I won it, but they thought I did.
5[on leaving Oklahoma for Hollywood, where he became a horse wrangler for Howard Hawks on The Outlaw (1943)] I'd been making a dollar a day as a cowboy, and my first check in Hollywood was for $300. After that, you couldn't have driven me back to Oklahoma with a club.
6You know, I'd say that aside from Mr. Ford's [John Ford] help in my career, I'd lay any success I've had to not expecting too much. I never expected to become a star and was always content to stay two or three rungs down the ladder and last awhile. When I do get a little ahead, I see what I can do to help others.
7Everybody in town's a better actor than I am, but none of them can play Ben Johnson.

#Trademark
1Tall, chesty frame
2His great athletic ability with horses
3Plain-spoken, Southern characters

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