Oliver Johnston (actor)
Oliver Griffen Johnston (30 April 1888 – 22 December 1966) was an English actor. After training at RADA, his theatre work included the original production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street at Malvern (1930) and its subsequent West End transfer (1930-1932). Johnston started his film career in 1938, when he was already 50 years old. Working until shortly before his death, he appeared in nearly 90 film and television productions, where he often portrayed meek or mild-mannered types in supporting roles.
Publicity still, 1960
Oliver Griffen Johnston
30 April 1888
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
|Died||22 December 1966 (aged 78)|
Westminster, London, England
Johnston had a rather unremarkable film acting career until he was nearly 70 years, when he was discovered by Charlie Chaplin. He is perhaps best-remembered for his role in Chaplin's A King in New York (1957), where he played a large supporting role as the "faithful ambassador and solemn-serious straight man" to Chaplin's King. Afterwards he got more acting offers, including the literature adaption Kidnapped (1960) and fantasy/horror pictures like The Three Lives of Thomasina (1963), The Tomb of Ligeia (1964) and It! (1967).
One of his last roles, released after his death in December 1966 at age 78, was in Chaplin's last film A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). Here Johnston portrayed an old British businessman in Hong Kong, who introduces the leading characters of Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren to each other in the opening scenes.
|1938||Kate Plus Ten||Cunningham|
|1939||Stolen Life||Prof. Bardesley|
|1953||The Good Beginning||Owen||Uncredited|
|1954||Dangerous Voyage||Dr. Waverley|
|1954||Tale of Three Women||Butler||(segment "Wedding Gift")|
|1955||Room in the House|
|1957||The Hypnotist||Doctor Kenyon|
|1957||You Can't Escape||Uncredited|
|1957||A King in New York||Ambassador Jaume|
|1958||The Son of Robin Hood||Apothecary|
|1958||Nowhere to Go||Mr. Hopkins||Uncredited|
|1959||Beyond This Place||Prusty|
|1959||The Night We Dropped a Clanger||Air Commodore Turner|
|1960||A Touch of Larceny||Minister|
|1960||The 3 Worlds of Gulliver||Mr. Grinch||Uncredited|
|1961||Francis of Assisi||Father Livoni|
|1961||Raising the Wind||Prof. Parkin|
|1962||Backfire!||Bernard Curzon||Edgar Wallace Mysteries|
|1963||The Fast Lady||Bulmer|
|1963||Island of Love||Prof. Krumwitz|
|1963||Dr. Crippen||Lord Chief Justice|
|1963||The Three Lives of Thomasina||Mr. Dobbie|
|1964||The Tomb of Ligeia||Kenrick|
|1965||You Must Be Joking!||Angry Tweedles Club Member||Uncredited|
|1967||A Countess from Hong Kong||Clark|
|1967||It!||Curator Trimingham||(final film role)|
- Name, Your Museum. "A King in New York : Oliver Johnston - ECCI00010328". www.charliechaplinarchive.org.
- "Production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street | Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- Wearing, J. P. (15 May 2014). "The London Stage 1930-1939: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel". Rowman & Littlefield – via Google Books.
- "Oliver Johnston". BFI.
- "Oliver Johnston". IMDb.
- Kenneth Lynn: Charlie Chaplin and His Times, page 500
- "A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) - Charlie Chaplin | Cast and Crew". AllMovie.