Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the middle of three siblings, Johnny began performing from the age of 5 at a small performing arts school, making his debut as a Chanukah candle.
Pursuing the acting profession, he appeared with success in many TV and film projects, handling both drama and comedy with finesse.
Johnny was what used to be called a Renaissance Man. He was not only a superb actor, but excelled in the other arts as well. He was a prolific writer, poet and painter.
He also was a philanthropist, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy causes, as well as being an active member of a number of charitable organizations.
He had seen too many of his friends succumb to the curse of drug abuse, and so he became an outspoken advocate against drugs, using his celebrity status to speak to large groups of educators and law enforcement officials about the dangers of street and psychiatric drug abuse.
He created friends everywhere he went. And he went everywhere. Europe, Asia, South America. He slept with natives in grass huts in Southeast Asia, and was the first white man allowed passage to a sacred lake in Laos.
Of his many talents, one that he treasured was the mentoring of other artists. Many successful performers, some of whom have reached the top of their profession have ascribed their success to Johnny.
His most recent work includes Sons of Anarchy (two seasons), Felon, The Runaways, 186 Dollars to Freedom and Lovely Molly.
In late October 2011 Johnny was in a motorcycle accident and suffered head injuries. He should have gotten but didn't receive an MRI. Shortly thereafter his thinking and his behavior became bizarre. In January 2012 he was pounded to a pulp around the face and head by a man twice his size. In prison he suffered additional head injuries from unclear causes. The prison doctors diagnosed him as having brain injuries and internal bleeding.
The symptoms of brain injury include sensitivity to light, unfocused eyes, illogical, sometimes violent behavior, inability to make decisions. Johnny had all of these. His sensitivity to light was such that he would prefer to sit in a room with all the lights out, illuminated by one candle.
Each and every psychiatrist and law enforcement official had this information about Johnny, yet they refused to take it into account, insisting that his problem was he was simply crazy and abused drugs, despite the fact that he did not once test positive for drugs during the period from January 3rd until his death and subsequent toxicology over nine months later. The cure for brain injury is complete and total rest for several months. Johnny never got that. Instead he was pushed and bullied through an insensitive and heartless justice system which does more harm than good. Despite that, his light shown brightly. There was a time when he was able to mainly rest for a month or so, at Ridgeview Ranch, up in the mountains. He was getting better. He was seeing friends. He was making plans for a return to show business through stage acting. He was talking to directors. He was writing.
He made a deal with the District Attorney -- his freedom for "time served" --just a couple more days in jail, and that would be it. The couple days turned into two more months. His spirits went down, but while there he was still thinking of others before himself. He would sometimes write poems for inmates' sweethearts , just as a favor. Some of those guys in jail are not very literate, so Johnny would write to their loved ones on their behalf.
Johnny was a bright light, and like too many bright lights his was extinguished prematurely by the misunderstanding and arrogance of "experts".
But he left behind a body of film and TV work that will inspire many, two nearly complete novels, a good draft of a screenplay, many poems and many many dear friends and admirers around the world.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California and holds a dual Canadian citizenship.
Is the middle child. Has two siblings.
Mother is Divona. Father is Michael.
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