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Subject: Archive: Arch Johnson, Oct. 9, 1997

Character actor
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Date Posted: Monday, October 09, 04:27:29pm

Archibald Winchester "Arch" Johnson (March 14, 1922 October 9, 1997) was an American actor who appeared on Broadway and in more than one hundred television programs.

Life and career

Johnson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Starting out in Philadelphia in the 1940s through 1950s he worked in Community Theater both as an actor and director. A stage actor as well as a prolific television character actor, he was in the original production of West Side Story on Broadway and the revival of that show in the 1980s, again on Broadway. He was the only actor from the original stage version who returned for the revival, and he toured Europe with the show. He was in the original version of Other People's Money on Broadway and originated the Role of "Jorge" that Gregory Peck played in the film version.

His first love was theatre, where he began his career, and he returned to that genre before he retired in the late 1990s.

Johnson had a prolific television career. Among his numerous roles, he was a regular on the 1961 series The Asphalt Jungle as police Captain Gus Honochek, on the 1955-1956 comedy series It's Always Jan, on the 1960-1961 comedy seriesl Peter Loves Mary, and on the 1965-1966 series Camp Runamuck as Commander Wivenhoe.

In 1963, he portrayed the role of Harry Johanson in the episode "Incident at Paradise" on CBS's Rawhide. He made five appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of murder victim Karl Magovern in the 1961 episode, "The Case of the Travelling Treasure," murder victim Gerald Thornton in the 1963 episode, "The Case of the Golden Oranges," and Marvin Fremont in the 1964 episode, "The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands." He also made four appearances on Daniel Boone and Gunsmoke, five on Bewitched, four on The F.B.I., and scores of others on many other television offerings, including The Twilight Zone, Decoy, Johnny Ringo, Hennesey, The Roaring 20s, Lawman, Going My Way, Mr. Novak, and Empire and its successor series, Redigo, both with Richard Egan.

In 1963, Johnson appeared on NBC's western series Laramie, with John Smith and Robert Fuller as Slim Sherman and Jess Harper, respectively. He was cast as the outlaw Sam Wellman in the episode "No Place to Run". In the story line, Wellman forces a likeable safecracker who is trying to go straight, Gandy Ross, portrayed by Don Durant, formerly Johnny Ringo, to open the safe in the bank at fictitious Granite City. Ellen Burstyn and Tom Skerritt play the roles of Amy and Price in the episode, as Jess Harper rescues his friend Ross from the clutches of Wellman.[2]'
In 1961, Johnson appeared as his Gus Honochek character from The Asphalt Jungle in the theatrical film The Lawbreakers.

In 1973, Johnson played the part of Combs in the movie The Sting.


Johnson died of cancer on October 9, 1997 in Snow Hill in Worcester County in southeastern Maryland.

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Pic of Arch Johnson with Larry Blyden in TZ episode "Showdown With Rance McGrew"Link to picMonday, October 09, 04:29:40pm

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