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Chubby Johnson Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, USA
Died in Hollywood, California, USA  (leg infection)
Birth NameCharles Rutledge Johnson

Mini Bio (1)

Chubby Johnson was born Charles Rutledge Johnson on August 13, 1903, in Terre Haute, Indiana. He made a living as a journalist and did not become a movie actor until he was in his 40s, making his debut in the Randolph Scott oater Abilene Town (1946) in support of Scott, Ann Dvorak and Edgar Buchanan. He continued to practice his craft as a member of the press, serving as a radio announcer as well as pounding the keys as a columnist, until he was nearly 50. Chubby appeared in the Errol Flynn horse opera Rocky Mountain (1950) as part of an army of quirky character actors, including Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams and Slim Pickens. Chubby then quit the Fourth Estate for a Hollywood career.

When Republic Pictures sought a replacement for Eddy Waller to play sidekick to B-movie cowboy star Allan Lane in the Rocky Lane series, Chubby filled in for most of 1951-52. He also starred in the TV series Sky King (1951) as ranch foreman Jim Bell. The low-budget series, a spin-off from a five-year-old radio show in which individual episodes were made for approximately $9,000 each, ran on NBC from Sept 16, 1951, until Oct 26, 1952. The series was then picked up by ABC, which ran the same NBC episodes from November 8, 1952, until September 12, 1954. A season of new episodes was aired in 1955.

Chubby freelanced as a character actor after these stints on the TV, appearing in support of James Stewart in the Anthony Mann classic Bend of the River (1952), and in their The Far Country (1954), which also featured character actor par excellence Walter Brennan, the movies' first triple-Oscar threat. Chubby then went on to appear in support of Doris Day in Calamity Jane (1953), Audie Murphy in Gunsmoke (1953), Ronald Reagan in Law and Order (1953), Barbara Stanwyck and Ronnie again in Cattle Queen of Montana (1954) and James Cagney in Tribute to a Bad Man (1956), one of the legend's rare forays into the western.

Other stars Chubby supported were Richard Chamberlain and Claude Rains in Twilight of Honor (1963), the 1963 courtroom drama that won the ill-fated Nick Adams a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination; James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969); and Burt Reynolds in his audacious debut as a big-screen star as the eponymous Sam Whiskey (1969). He also appeared uncredited in the classic High Noon (1952).

After appearing as a regular in the short-lived series Frontier Doctor (1958), Chubby appeared as Concho on another TV western, Temple Houston (1963), which starred Jeffrey Hunter. He also guested on many other TV westerns, including Bonanza (1959), Gunsmoke (1955) and The Rifleman (1958).

Chubby continued to appear in films until 1969, with Sam Whiskey (1969) serving as the nightcap to his career. He died on Halloween Day 1974 from complications from a leg infection.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Trivia (1)

This gruff western comedy sidekick was a jack-of-all-trades in real life -- at different times of his life was a reporter, columnist, journalist, radio announcer and even a butcher.

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