Began chemotherapy in October 1997 for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 228-229. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Brother of Coslough Johnson.
Graduate of University of Illinois, 1949.
Has donated his scripts and tapes from "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967) to his alma mater's communications school.
His stage name "Arte" came about by accident: Originally billed as "Art E. Johnson", his name was mistakenly posted as "Arte" on a playbill. Johnson liked the look and sound of the name, so he kept it.
Left for New York when no jobs in Chicago ad agencies opened for him. Worked at Viking Press and developed life-long love of reading and book-collecting.
Says he got first showbiz job by just impulsively stepping into an audition line at Broadway theater, where he was almost immediately chosen for role in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."