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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
1 Ben's great grandfather Calvin C. Johnson (1840-1915) served in the Confederate States Army with the 14th Arkansas Infantry.
2 Had 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).
3 Had 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).
4 He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7082 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on June 2, 1994.
5 Since 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.
6 His wife, Carol, was the daughter of Clarence Young "Fats" Jones, owner of Fats Jones Stables, who supplied horses to many movies and television series.
7 Also doubled for Randolph Scott.
8 Had 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.
9 Johnson 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.
10 Had 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.
11 Had Cherokee and Irish blood.
12 Johnson, his father, and nephew have Belt-Buckle awards for team roping.
13 His 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).
14 Johnson 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.
15 A 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.
16 Died of a heart attack while visiting his mother in the retirement community where, not only she, but he himself lived.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Border Patrol 1959 TV Series Hank Colman
Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1958 TV Series Sheriff Jeff
The Restless Gun 1958 TV Series Sheriff Tim Malachy
Navy Log 1958 TV Series Border Patrol Officer
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet 1958 TV Series Tex Barton
Fort Bowie 1958 Capt. Thomas Thompson
Slim Carter 1957 Montana Burriss
War Drums 1957 Luke Fargo
Cavalcade of America 1956 TV Series Cal Bennett
Rebel in Town 1956 Frank Mason
Oklahoma! 1955 Wrangler (uncredited)
Shane 1953 Chris Calloway
Wild Stallion 1952 Dan Light
Fort Defiance 1951 Ben Shelby
Rio Grande 1950 Trooper Travis Tyree
Wagon Master 1950 Travis / Travis Blue
Mighty Joe Young 1949 Gregg
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 1949 Sgt. Tyree
3 Godfathers 1948 Posse Man #1
The Gallant Legion 1948 Ranger (uncredited)
Wyoming 1947 Cowhand (uncredited)
Badman's Territory 1946 Deputy Marshal (uncredited)
The Naughty Nineties 1945 Coach Driver (uncredited)
Corpus Christi Bandits 1945 2nd Stage Driver (uncredited)
Nevada 1944 Saloon Patron (uncredited)
Tall in the Saddle 1944 Townsman (uncredited)
The Pinto Bandit 1944 Race Contestant (uncredited)
Bordertown Gun Fighters 1943 Messenger (uncredited)
The Outlaw 1943 Deputy (uncredited)
The Fighting Gringo 1939 Mexican Barfly (uncredited)
The Evening Star 1996 Arthur Cotton
Ruby Jean and Joe 1996 TV Movie Big Man
Bonanza: Under Attack 1995 TV Movie Bronc Evans
Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart 1994
Angels in the Outfield 1994 Hank Murphy
Bonanza: The Return 1993 TV Movie Bronc Evans
Radio Flyer 1992 Geronimo Bill
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys 1991 Jesse Dalton
The Chase 1991 TV Movie Laurienti
Back to Back 1989 Eli Hix
The Last Ride 1989 Short
Dark Before Dawn 1988 The Sheriff
Stranger on My Land 1988 TV Movie Vern Whitman
Cherry 2000 1987 Six Fingered Jake
Trespasses 1986 August Klein
Let's Get Harry 1986 Harry Burck Sr.
Dream West 1986 TV Mini-Series Jim Bridger
Wild Horses 1985 TV Movie Bill Ward
Red Dawn 1984 Mr. Mason
Champions 1984 Burly Cocks
The Shadow Riders 1982 TV Movie Uncle 'Black Jack' Traven
Tex 1982 Cole Collins
Soggy Bottom, U.S.A. 1981 Isum Gorch
Terror Train 1980 Carne
Ruckus 1980 Sam Bellows
The Hunter 1980 Sheriff Strong
Wild Times 1980 TV Mini-Series Doc Bogardus
The Sacketts 1979 TV Mini-Series Cap Rountree
The Swarm 1978 Felix
Grayeagle 1977 John Colter
The Greatest 1977 Hollis
The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976 Captain J.D. Morales
The Savage Bees 1976 TV Movie Sheriff Donald McKew
Breakheart Pass 1975 Marshal Pearce
Hustle 1975 Marty Hollinger
Bite the Bullet 1975 Mister
Locusts 1974 TV Movie Amos Fletcher
The Sugarland Express 1974 Captain Tanner
Blood Sport 1973 TV Movie Dwayne Birdsong
Runaway! 1973 TV Movie Holly Gibson
Dillinger 1973 Melvin Purvis
Kid Blue 1973 Sheriff 'Mean John' Simpson
The Red Pony 1973 TV Movie Jess Taylor
The Train Robbers 1973 Jesse
The Getaway 1972 Jack Beynon
Junior Bonner 1972 Buck Roan
Corky 1972 Boland
Gunsmoke 1963-1971 TV Series Hannon / Vern Morland / Ben Crown
Something Big 1971 Jesse Bookbinder
The Last Picture Show 1971 Sam the Lion
Bonanza 1962-1971 TV Series Kelly James / Sgt. Samuel Bellis / Deputy Sheriff Stan Mace
Chisum 1970 James Pepper
The Undefeated 1969 Short Grub
The Wild Bunch 1969 Tector Gorch
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1969 TV Series
The Virginian 1963-1968 TV Series Jed Cooper / Joe Hogan / Jim Brandt / ...
Hang 'Em High 1968 Marshal Dave Bliss
Will Penny 1967 Alex (Flat Iron Ranch foreman)
The Monroes 1966-1967 TV Series Sleeve
ABC Stage 67 1966 TV Series Sheriff Barbee
The Rare Breed 1966 Harter
Branded 1966 TV Series Bill Latigo
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre 1965 TV Series Burt Wade
Major Dundee 1965 Sergeant Chillum
Perry Mason 1964 TV Series Kelly
Cheyenne Autumn 1964 Trooper Plumtree (uncredited)
Stoney Burke 1962 TV Series Rex Donally
Have Gun - Will Travel 1960-1962 TV Series John Bartlett / Sam Crabbe / John Anderson
Route 66 1961-1962 TV Series Del McNab / Alley Golden
Laramie 1960-1961 TV Series Tarp / Jim - Driver / Billy Pardee
Tomboy and the Champ 1961 Uncle Jim
One-Eyed Jacks 1961 Bob Amory
Ten Who Dared 1960 George Bradley

Stunts

Stunts

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Oklahoma! 1955 stunt double - uncredited
3 Godfathers 1948 stunts - uncredited
The Kissing Bandit 1948 stunts - uncredited
Red River 1948 stunts - uncredited
The Gallant Legion 1948 stunts - uncredited
Fort Apache 1948 stunts - uncredited
Wyoming 1947 stunt double: Bill Elliott - uncredited / stunts - uncredited
Ramrod 1947 stunts - uncredited
Angel and the Badman 1947 stunt double - uncredited
Out California Way 1946 stunt double: Monte Hale - uncredited
Smoky 1946 stunts - uncredited
Badman's Territory 1946 stunts - uncredited
California Gold Rush 1946 stunt double - uncredited
Santa Fe Saddlemates 1945 stunt double - uncredited
Corpus Christi Bandits 1945 stunts - uncredited
Nevada 1944 stunt double: Robert Mitchum - uncredited
The Old Texas Trail 1944 stunts - uncredited
Tall in the Saddle 1944 stunts - uncredited
Tarzan's Desert Mystery 1943 stunt double - uncredited
Blazing Guns 1943 stunts - uncredited
Arizona Trail 1943 stunt double - uncredited
Bordertown Gun Fighters 1943 stunts - uncredited
Riders of the Rio Grande 1943 stunts - uncredited
Riders of the Northwest Mounted 1943 stunt double: Russell Hayden - uncredited
The Outlaw 1943 stunts - uncredited
The Durango Kid 1940 stunt double: Charles Starrett - uncredited
The Fighting Gringo 1939 stunts - uncredited

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch 1976 materials provided by
The Outlaw 1943 horse wrangler - uncredited

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Wagon Master 1950 performer: "SONG OF THE WAGON MASTER"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right 1996 Documentary Himself
100 Years of the Hollywood Western 1994 TV Movie documentary Himself
Warren Oates: Across the Border 1993 Documentary Himself
John Ford 1993 TV Movie documentary Himself
Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas 1991 Documentary Himself
Thank Ya, Thank Ya Kindly 1991 TV Movie documentary Himself
Hollywood on Horses 1989 Video documentary Himself
Oklahoma Passage 1989 TV Mini-Series Himself
Étoiles et toiles 1986 TV Series documentary Himself
Hollywood Greats 1984 TV Series documentary Himself
The Mike Douglas Show 1978 TV Series Himself - Actor
Inside 'The Swarm' 1978 TV Movie documentary Himself
The 48th Annual Academy Awards 1976 TV Special Himself - Presenter: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1972-1974 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Wayne Train 1973 TV Short documentary Himself
The 44th Annual Academy Awards 1972 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
American Masters 2008 TV Series documentary Himself
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters 2006 Documentary Sam the Lion (uncredited)
Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies 2001 TV Special documentary Himself
Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs 2000 TV Movie documentary
The 69th Annual Academy Awards 1997 TV Special Himself (Memorial Tribute)
Hollywood Mavericks 1990 Documentary Tector Gorch (uncredited)
Reginald LeBorg - Man nannte mich den Alleskönner 1987 TV Movie documentary Luke Fargo
The Bull of the West 1972 TV Movie Spinner
The American West of John Ford 1971 TV Movie documentary Trooper Travis Tyree (uncredited)
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1968 TV Series George Bradley

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1996 Maverick Award Taos Talking Picture Festival
1994 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture Awarded on June 2, 1994 at 7083 Hollywood Blvd.
1983 Golden Boot Golden Boot Awards
1976 Bronze Wrangler Western Heritage Awards Theatrical Motion Picture Bite the Bullet (1975) · John C. Champion (director)
· Richard Brooks (writer)
· Jan-Michael Vincent (actor)
· Candice Bergen (actor)
· James Coburn (actor)
· Gene Hackman (actor)
1973 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actor The Last Picture Show (1971)
1972 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Last Picture Show (1971)
1972 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture The Last Picture Show (1971)
1972 NBR Award National Board of Review, USA Best Supporting Actor The Last Picture Show (1971)
1971 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor The Last Picture Show (1971)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1971 NSFC Award National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA Best Supporting Actor The 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.
2 I 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.
3 When 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.
6 You 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.
7 Everybody in town's a better actor than I am, but none of them can play Ben Johnson.

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

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