A handsome performer with a clean-cut image yet the ability to project heightened aggression, Kenny Johnson specialized in portrayals of authoritative professional types, such as state troopers, police detectives, and macho athletes. The East Coast native grew up on a farm in Vermont, and as a young man formally trained in drama under the tutelage of acting coaches Vincent Chase and Larry Moss. Following a brief start in show business as a TV commercial spokesperson, Johnson moved into narrative work, and spent much of the 1990s turning up as a guest star on programs including Caroline in the City, Grace Under Fire and Arli$$, in addition to theatrical releases such as the 1998 issues Major League: Back to the Minors and Blade. Johnson scored his most significant break, however, with an ongoing role on the popular FX police drama The Shield: that of Detective Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky. Beginning in 2007, Johnson signed for a regular supporting role on the TNT drama series Saving Grace; he played Ham Dewey, Detective Grace Hanadarko's (Holly Hunter) on-the-job partner and occasional lover.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Was raised on a 40-acre farm in Vermont.
- Excelled at sports and played football and baseball in college.
- Cites James Dean as a huge influence on his acting career, particularly Dean's performance in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.
- Early jobs included modeling and acting in TV commercials. He even appeared in an ad for Pringles with a young Brad Pitt.
- Arm wrestled in official competitions and was once ranked second-best arm wrestler in the world in his weight class.
- Enjoys yoga.
- His favorite food is pizza from Milan, Italy.