Tor Johnson

Active - 1934 - 1961  |   Born - Oct 19, 1903 in Kalmar  |   Died - May 12, 1971   |   Genres - Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Standing six feet, four inches, and weighing anywhere between 300 and 400 pounds, Tor Johnson enjoyed a lengthy career as a professional wrestler. Befitting his country of origin, Johnson was billed as the "Super-Swedish Angel." He began appearing in films in 1934, generally typecast as a boxer or wrestler (he was "Tossoff" in W. C. Fields' 1935 starrer Man on the Flying Trapeze). A lavish wig hiding his shiny bald dome, Johnson spent the 1940s playing a variety of thugs and pluguglies in films like Jack Benny's Meanest Man in the World (1943), Olsen and Johnson's Ghost Catchers (1944) and Hope and Crosby's Road to Rio (1947). For the most part, his thick Scandinavia accent went unheard; his obese frame, grimacing countenance and animalistic growl were all that directors required of him. In recent years, Johnson has gained notoriety for his appearances in the films of "world's worst director" Edward Wood Jr.; he co-starred as the mute monstrosity Lobo in Bride of the Monster (1956) and Night of the Ghouls (1960), and was prominently featured as the zombified Inspector Clay in the immortal Plan Nine From Outer Space (1959). Though one would never know from such cinematic atrocities as Beast of Yucca Flats (1961), Johnson could act, as he proved in a memorable 1959 episode of TV's Peter Gunn. Offscreen, the behemoth-like actor had a reputation for wittiness and gentility. According to some reports, Tor Johnson was distantly relatedly to Swedish boxing champ Ingemar Johanssen.

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  • Hans riktiga namn var Tor Johansson men blev mer känd under sitt artistnamn Tor Johnson.
  • Hade blont hår, men rakade av det för att få ett imponerande utseende.
  • Började efter att ha flyttat till Kalifornien få småroller i filmer – oftast som kraftkarl eller tyngdlyftare i t.ex. Två glada sjömän i Rio (1947) och I valet och kvalet (1948).
  • Filmkarriären tog slut i början på 1960-talet efter att han medverkat i en rad kritikersågade filmer, men han bestämde sig för fortsätta framträda i TV och gjorde en mängd reklaminslag.
  • Avled av hjärtsvikt i San Fernando Valley, Kalifornien.