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Richard Johnson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (17)

Overview (4)

Born in Upminster, Essex, England, UK
Died in Chelsea, London, England, UK  (following a short illness)
Birth NameRichard Keith Johnson
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Upminster, Essex, England in 1927, Richard Johnson attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and then performed in John Gielgud's repertory company until joining the navy in 1945 until 1948. After the war, he appeared successfully in the West End and made his film debut in the early 1950s. The debonair and handsome Johnson was a natural to portray playboy type characters, perhaps the most memorable being "Bulldog Drummond" in Deadlier Than the Male (1967) and Some Girls Do (1969). Later in his career, he turned to more serious roles, such as "Marc Antony" in Antony and Cleopatra (1974), and also tried his hand at producing in the late 1980s.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lyn Hammond

Spouse (4)

Lynne Gurney (2004 - 5 June 2015) ( his death)
Marie-Louise Nordlund (1982 - 1989) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Kim Novak (15 March 1965 - 26 May 1966) ( divorced)
Sheila Sweet (9 February 1957 - 1962) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (17)

Founder of United British Artists (1983 - 1987).
Attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, UK.
According to several sources, Johnson was at least considered for the part of "James Bond" in Dr. No (1962). Some say he was actually offered the part but turned it down because he did not want to sign a multi-picture contract. Nonetheless, he did play a very Bondian version of British detective Bulldog Drummond in two late sixties films, Deadlier Than the Male (1967) and Some Girls Do (1969).
Father of Sorel Johnson and renowned board game designer Jervis Johnson (who created modern classics like Blood Bowl or Space Hulk) (b. 1959) with Sheila Sweet, Jennifer Johnson with Marie-Louise Nordlund, and Nicholas Johnson (b. 1976) with Françoise Pascal.
Father-in-law of Will Parnell.
Son of Frances Louisa Olive Tweed and Keith Holcombe Johnson.
Gave a full length commentary for The Haunting (1963) DVD. [August 2003]
M-G-M were pleased with Johnson's work in Never So Few (1959) and signed him to a multi-picture deal, hoping to build him into a new star. They insisted that a role be written into the screenplay of King of Kings (1961) for him, although the film was about to start shooting. Johnson's role - as a character not mentioned in the Bible - took up nearly an hour of screen time, and was then deleted in its entirety before the film reached cinemas.
He was considered for the roles of Dr. Hans Fallada, Dr. Bukovsky, Sir Percy Heseltine and Dr. Armstrong in Lifeforce (1985).
He was offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No (1962) but turned it down.
He died only one day before his Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951), Julius Caesar (1970) and Treasure Island (1990) co-star Christopher Lee.
He has two roles in common with his Breaking the Code (1996) co-star Derek Jacobi: (1) Johnson played King Claudius of Denmark in ITV Saturday Night Theatre: Hamlet (1970) while Jacobi played him in Hamlet (1996) and (2) Johnson played the Roman Emperor Claudius in Churchill's People: The Lost Island (1975) while Jacobi played him in I, Claudius (1976).
He was educated at Parkfield and Felsted Schools.
He died in the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea.
In 1969 he founded Pagent Entertainments Ltd to produce plays the first being a production of Brief Lives at the Criterion Theatre in London.
16 years prior to playing Bulldog Drummond in Deadlier Than the Male (1967) he'd had a small part in Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951).
Johnson was cremated. His ashes were given to his children.

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