Oscar Actors: Johnson, Ben

Born June 13, 1918 in Foraker, Oklahoma.

A champion rodeo performer, Johnson first arrived in Hollywood in the early 40s as a horse wrangler for Howard Hughes's The Outlaw and was later employed as a double and stuntman in Westerns.

He was then discovered by John Ford, who cast him as a cavalry sergeant in two of his films, and later gave him the starring part in “The Wagonmaster.”

Johnson also starred in “Mighty Joe Young” and other films but has been used for the most part in supporting roles, mainly in Westerns.

He won the Academy Award as best supporting actor and the New York Film Critics Award for his performance in Peter Bogdanovich's “The Last Picture Show” (1971).

Oscar Alert:

In 1971, Ben Johnson competed for (and won) the Supporting Actor Oscar with Jeff Bridges also nominated for “The Last Picture Show,” Leonard Frey in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Richard Jaeckel in “Sometimes a Great Nation,” and Roy Scheider in “The French Connection.”