APRIL 8, 1996


Born June 13, 1918, on the Osage Reservation in Foraker, Oklahoma, Johnson’s mother was of Cherokee stock. A champion rodeo rider, Ben went to Hollywood in 1940 as a horse wrangler on The Outlaw (1943). He doubled for several actors, including Henry Fonda in John Ford’s Fort Apache (1948). Ford then cast him as Trooper Tyree in both She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) & Rio Grande (1950). He co-starred in Wagonmaster (1950). With Sam Peckinpah, Ben was in Major Dundee (1965) & The Wild Bunch (1969). Peter Bogdanovich cast him in his Oscar-winning role as Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show (1971). Ben also was in My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1991) & Radio Flyer (1992). He ran a horse-breeding ranch in Sylmar, California. Inducted into both the Texas Trail (2003) & Western Performers (1982) Halls of Fame, Ben has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was the subject of the documentary, Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right. Johnson died in Mesa, Arizona.

  Hal Erickson, “Ben Johnson,” AllMovie.  Retrieved 8/8/2021, Ben Johnson | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos | AllMovie
Photo: Author unknown, 1969.  Public Domain.

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