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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.

Arch Johnson
Arch Johnson 1961.JPG
Johnson in 1961.
Archibald Winchester Johnson

(1922-03-14)March 14, 1922
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedOctober 9, 1997(1997-10-09) (aged 75)
OccupationStage, film, and television actor
Years active1953–1990
Spouse(s)Yvonne Saccard (1957–1966; divorced; 2 children)
Eleanor M. Willey (1969–1971; divorced)
Joyce Johnson (?–1981; divorced; 3 children)
Jean D. Heibeck (1994–1997; his death)

Early yearsEdit

Johnson was born in Minneapolis.[citation needed] and attended the University of Pennsylvania.[1]


Starting out in Philadelphia in the 1940s through 1950s, Johnson worked in Community Theater both as an actor and director.

He began acting with the Plays and Players Theatre in Philadelphia and was part of the world premiere of Stalag 17 while there. After he left Philadelphia, he studied for two years at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York.[1]

A stage actor as well as a prolific television character actor, he was in the original production of West Side Story (1957) on Broadway and the revival of that show in 1980, again on Broadway.[2]

He was the only actor from the original stage version who returned for the revival,[3] 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.[citation needed]

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,[4] on the 1955-1956 comedy series It's Always Jan,[4]:516 on the 1960-1961 comedy seriesl Peter Loves Mary,[4]:827 and on the 1965-1966 series Camp Runamuck as Commander Wivenhoe.[4]:155-156

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", as murder victim Gerald Thornton in the 1963 episode, "The Case of the Golden Oranges", and as Marvin Fremont in the 1964 episode, "The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands". He played murderer John Ruskin in the 1960 episode "Th Case of the Singular Double". He 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.[citation needed]

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.[5]'

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.


Year Title Role Notes
1953 Niagara Taxi Driver Uncredited
1954 Garden of Eden
1956 Somebody Up There Likes Me Heldon
1957 Gun Glory Gunn
1960 G.I. Blues Sgt. McGraw
1961 The Explosive Generation Mr. George Sommers
1961 The Lawbreakers Chief Inspector Gus Honochek
1963 The Virginian as Dr. Ashley Episode "A Killer in Town"
1963 Twilight of Honor Mac McWade
1970 The Liberation of L.B. Jones Stanley Bumpas
1970 The Cheyenne Social Club Marshal Anderson
1972 Napoleon and Samantha Chief of Police
1973 Walking Tall Buel Jaggers
1973 Gentle Savage Beaumont
1973 The Sting Vince Combs
1975 Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins Smitty
1975 The Hindenburg Captain B.F. Farley, N.Y.P.D. Uncredited
1978 The Buddy Holly Story Mr. Lawrence Holly
1983 Easy Money Vendor at Armory
1985 Death Mask Dr. Robert Riordan


  1. ^ a b Lawler, Sylvia (February 15, 1983). "Arch Johnson's enduring career is reflected in his familiar face". The Morning Call. Pennsylvania, Allentown. p. D - 1. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via  
  2. ^ "Arch Johnson". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Johnson". The Morning Call. Pennsylvania, Allentown. February 15, 1983. p. D 2. Retrieved May 16, 2018 – via  
  4. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. ^ "Laramie: "No Place to Hide," February 5, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved December 5, 2012.

External linksEdit