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October 27, 2023

30 Vintage Portrait Photos of Van Johnson in the 1940s and ’50s

Born 1916 in Newport, Rhode Island, American actor Van Johnson performed at social clubs in Newport while in high school. He moved to New York City after graduation in 1935 and joined the off-Broadway revue Entre Nous. He was a major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during and after World War II.

Johnson was described as the embodiment of the “boy-next-door wholesomeness” which made him a popular Hollywood star in the 1940s and 1950s, playing “the red-haired, freckle-faced soldier, sailor, or bomber pilot who used to live down the street” in MGM films during the war years, with such films as Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, A Guy Named Joe, and The Human Comedy.

Johnson made occasional World War II films through the end of the 1960s, and he played a military officer in one of his final feature films in 1992. At the time of his death in 2008, he was one of the last surviving matinee idols of Hollywood’s “golden age”.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of young Van Johnson in the 1940s and ’50s.


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