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Don Johnson: The Enduringly Cool and Charismatic Star

Full Name Donnie Wayne Johnson
Age 73
Birthday [December 15, 1949](
Birth Place Flat Creek, Missouri, USA
Net Worth $50 million
Spouse Kelley Phleger (m. 1999–present)
Children 5, including Dakota Johnson

Don Johnson
Donnie Wayne "Don" Johnson is an American actor best known for his breakout role as James "Sonny" Crockett in the hit 80s TV series Miami Vice. With his rugged good looks, laidback charm, and dynamic on-screen presence, Johnson became one of the decade‘s most popular stars. But his acting career extends far beyond this iconic role.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Don Johnson was born on December 15, 1949 in Flat Creek, Missouri to farmer Wayne Fred Johnson and homemaker Eva Johnson. From an early age, he was drawn to performing and attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Johnson got his start with minor roles in films like The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970). His breakout part came in 1975‘s sci-fi cult classic A Boy and His Dog, where he played the lead role of Vic opposite a telepathic dog.

Reaching Superstardom with Miami Vice

Johnson got his big break when he was cast as detective Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice in 1984. As the tough, stylish Crockett paired with Philip Michael Thomas‘ Ricardo Tubbs, Johnson reached a new level of superstardom.

The innovative crime drama was hailed for its cinematic visuals, integration of pop music, and gripping subject matter. As the brooding, intense Crockett, Johnson created an iconic character that embodied the slick, flashy aesthetic of the 1980s. With his designer clothes, Ferrari sports car, and perpetual five o‘clock shadow, Crockett became the epitome of cool for a generation of viewers.

Johnson‘s magnetic performance earned him a Best Actor Golden Globe award in 1986. Miami Vice remains one of the most groundbreaking shows in TV history, with Crockett still considered one of the greatest characters ever.

Diverse Film and TV Roles

After Miami Vice ended in 1989, Johnson displayed his versatility with a variety of film and TV roles. He starred in action movies like Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988) and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991). Dramas like Paradise (1991) and The Hot Spot (1990) showed his range.

On television, he earned acclaim for his performances in From Here to Eternity (1979), Nash Bridges (1996-2001), and as Big Willie in Eastbound & Down (2009-2013).

In recent years, he has taken on supporting roles in films like Django Unchained (2012) and Knives Out (2019) to critical praise. Now in his 70s, Johnson continues to shine on both the big and small screen.

Why We Love Don Johnson

There are so many reasons Don Johnson remains a beloved star after over 50 years in show business:

  • Utterly cool charisma – From Crockett to Nash Bridges, Johnson projects an effortless, laidback charisma that jumps off the screen. His presence draws us in.
  • Comedic and dramatic skill – As versatile as they come, Johnson handles comedy and drama with equal aplomb. He adds depth to any role.
  • 80s icon status – With his clothes, car, stubble, Johnson was the 80s. His Crockett lives on as the ultimate symbol of the decade.
  • Evergreen good looks – Ruggedly handsome in his youth, Johnson has aged gracefully and remains a charmer.
  • Consummate professional – With his work ethic and dedication to his craft, Johnson is an actor‘s actor. His commitment shows.

Decades later, Don Johnson‘s cultural impact and extensive body of work cement him as a true icon of film and television. His natural magnetism and talent continue to captivate audiences today.

5 Fascinating Facts about Don Johnson

  1. Music hit – Johnson‘s single "Heartbeat" reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. He won a Grammy for it.
  2. Directorial debut – Johnson directed the 1996 film The Goodbye Girl starring Patricia Arquette.
  3. SNL host – He hosted Saturday Night Live back in December 1987.
  4. Married 5 times – Johnson has been married five times, most recently wedding Kelley Phleger in 1999.
  5. Father of Dakota Johnson – His daughter with ex-wife Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson, is a successful actress known for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Don Johnson‘s birthday?
Don Johnson was born on December 15, 1949. He is currently 73 years old.

Where was Don Johnson born?
Johnson was born in Flat Creek, Missouri and grew up in Wichita, Kansas.

What is Don Johnson‘s net worth?
Johnson has an estimated net worth of $50 million. The bulk of his wealth comes from acting in TV and movies.

Is Don Johnson married?
Yes, since 1999 Johnson has been married to Kelley Phleger. He was previously married four times, most notably to Melanie Griffith.

What was Don Johnson‘s biggest role?
Johnson‘s breakout and most iconic role was as detective Sonny Crockett on the hit 80s series Miami Vice. The part made him an international star.

Don Johnson remains an enduringly charismatic, consummate actor who has given us so many memorable characters and moments. His natural magnetism, talent, and diverse roles make him a true icon of film and television.