VAN JOHNSON DEAD

Published on: December 12, 2008
VAN JOHNSON DEAD

Wholesome Hollywood star Van Johnson gone at 92.

Born Charles Van Dell Johnson in 1916 in Newport Rhode Island, Van died a Hollywood legend today in Tappan Zee Manor in New York.

A heartthrob with bobby soxers during the 1940s, Van was equally adept in straight dramatic roles as well as musicals.

His big break was the wartime fantasy A Guy Named Joe with Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne.

Johnson appeared in such hits as The Caine Mutiny, Brigadoon, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Command Decision and The Last Time I Saw Paris (with Liz Taylor).

Johnson only married once in 1947.  He eloped with Eve Wynn to Mexico who had only divorced his pal Keenan Wynn only four hours previously.  The marriage ended horribly as Eve "wiped me out in the ugliest divorce in Hollywood history," Johnson recalled in an interview.

"The white-haired ladies who come to matinees are the people who put me on top," Van said during a summer stock tour in 1992.

"I'm still grateful to them."