×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Midnight Cowboy’ Actress Georgann Johnson Dies at 91

Midnight Cowboy” actress Georgann Johnson died June 4 in Los Angeles. She was 91.

With a career spanning six decades, the Iowa native first appeared on television in 1950s commercials, later appearing opposite James Dean in TV drama “Life Sentence” (1953).

Johnson’s live TV performances include the original production of “Bang the Drum Slowly” (1956) with Paul Newman as well as playing Tony Randall’s wife in “Mr. Peepers” from 1952 to 1955.

The actress recalled: “It was a terribly good and terribly funny show and yet very gentle. I realized how much a special thing it was at the time.”

Her dream of singing in a Big Band came to fruition in Steve Allen’s “Songs for Sale” (1950-1952), a talent show for aspiring songwriters. Peggy Lee performed Johnson’s song, which won the prize and made an impression on Allen. He later cast her in the live television musical “The Bachelor.” In 1954, Johnson headed to Broadway to appear in “Reclining Figure” as well as the “Room Service” revival starring Jack Lemmon in 1953.

In the 1960’s, Johnson performed in “Critic’s Choice” on Broadway opposite Henry Fonda as well as episodes of “Dr. Kildare,” “The Doctors,” and “The Fugitive.” She later encountered Jon Voight as the “Rich Lady” in 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy.”

The 70s featured soap operas for Johnson, as she appeared in long-running roles on both “Another World/Somerset” as Ellen Grant and in “As the World Turns” as Jane Spencer.

Throughout the next 35 years, Johnson recurred on “All My Children” and “Wiseguy.” She appeared as Sharon Gless’ mother in “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill” and as Jane Seymour in “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” Johnson also featured in guest spots on “Seinfeld,” “Thirtysomething,” and “Elsewhere.”

Johnson is survived by her four daughters: Carol Prager, Annie Prager, Sally Seymour, and Molly Boyll, as well as three grandchildren.

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content