1950s Studio portrait. Van Johnson (August 25, 1916 – December 12, 2008) was an American film and television actor and dancer who was a major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios during and after World War II.
Johnson was the embodiment of the “boy-next-door wholesomeness (that) made him a popular Hollywood star in the ’40s and ’50s,” playing “the red-haired, freckle-faced soldier, sailor or bomber pilot who used to live down the street” in MGM movies during the war years with such films as 30 Seconds over Tokyo, A Guy Named Joe and The Caine Mutiny. At the time of his death in December 2008, he was one of the last surviving matinee idols of Hollywood’s “golden age.”
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