Ben Johnson Overview:

Legendary actor, Ben Johnson, was born Ben "Son" Johnson, Jr. on Jun 13, 1918 in Foraker, OK. Johnson died at the age of 77 on Apr 9, 1996 in Mesa, AZ and was laid to rest in Pawhuska City Cemetery in Pawhuska, OK.


Fresh-faced, personable dark-haired American western star with rich, slow-drawling voice, a former cowboy, rodeo champion (steer roping), and stunt rider. His career built up in John Ford westerns, but he didn't quite make it as a top star, reappearing in the 1960s as a leathery and weatherbeaten character star. The Academy Award that he won for his role in The Last Picture Show gained him a whole new series of varied and interesting roles. Died from a heart attack.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Stars).



Ben Johnson was nominated for one Academy Award, winning for Best Supporting Actor for The Last Picture Show (as Sam the Lion) in 1971.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1971Best Supporting ActorThe Last Picture Show (1971)Sam the LionWon

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. In addition, Johnson was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum .

BlogHub Articles:

By Dawn on Aug 11, 2011 From Noir and Chick Flicks

, was a ranch hand and would travel with his father on the rodeo circuit, as a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's Steer Roping World Champion in, 19... Read full article

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Ben Johnson Quotes:

Uncle Shiloh Clegg: You boys ever draw on anybody?
Travis Blue: No, sir. Just snakes.
[later, after Travis shoots Clegg]
Elder Wiggs: I thought you never drew on a man?
Travis Blue: That's right, sir. Only on snakes.

Posse Member #1: A lot of boys stick up stagecoaches and banks and one thing and another. But a man who would dynamite a water hole in this kind of country is downright criminal.

Bob: Harvey Johnson's gonna be a famous name in these parts.
Harvey Johnson: How's that?
Bob: He's about to get hisself killed by a fella named Rio.
Harvey Johnson: That ain't him.
Bob: I wouldn't want to lose me a handful of brains trying to find out.

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1971

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Ben Johnson on the
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Cowboy Museum Hall of Fame

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