Don Johnson Biography

Don Johnson Biography
Don Johnson (born Donnie Wayne Johnson) is an actor best known for his film and television appearances. Johnson became a household name as a result of his role in the popular 1980s cop series, Miami Vice.


Don Johnson was born in Flat Creek, Missouri, on December 15, 1949. His father was a farmer, and his mother a beautician. At the age of 6, he moved from Missouri to Wichita, Kansas. He graduated from South High School in Wichita, Kansas in 1967 and attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. He is of English origin.

In the late 1960s, he was one of the male contestants on the popular television show The Dating Game.

Don Johnson was married twice to actress Melanie Griffith (briefly in 1976 and then from 1989-1996) and is currently married to Kelley Phleger of San Francisco. They were married in 1998. Ms. Phleger is related to the Gettys of Getty Oil.

Johnson lived with Patti D'Arbanville from 1981 to 1985.

Don Johnson had a relationship with Barbra Streisand and created a single with her called "Till I Loved You". The single was the theme song to the 1987 film Nuts.

He was briefly engaged to actress Jeanne Anderson in 1996.

Johnson has a son with D'Arbanville, Jesse, born in December 1982, a daughter with Griffith, Dakota Johnson, born in October 1989, and a daughter with Phleger, Atherton Grace Johnson, born December 28, 1999 and a son, Jasper Breckenridge Johnson, born June 6, 2002.

As of December 23, 2005, he is expecting another child with Phleger.

Don Johnson became a household name as a result of his co-starring role as Sonny Crockett in the popular 1980s cop series, Miami Vice. In this role, Johnson played a police detective working undercover as a drug smuggler. He typically wore pastel Armani suits over cotton t-shirts, drove a Ferrari Daytona and lived on a 42-foot yacht with his pet alligator Elvis. Miami Vice was noted for its revolutionary use of music, cinematography, and imagery as well as a more glitzy take on on the police drama genre.

Don Johnson later starred in the 1996-2001 drama Nash Bridges with Cheech Marin and Yasmine Bleeth. Johnson plays the title role of Nash, a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. In Bridges Johnson was again paired with a flashy convertible car, this time an electric yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda.

In the fall of 2005, he briefly starred in The WB courtroom television show Just Legal as a jaded lawyer with a very young and idealistic partner (Jay Baruchel); the show was canceled in October 2005.

Don Johnson has had several brushes with the law.

When Don was twelve years old, Johnson was arrested for hot-wiring cars and sent to reform school.

In 1997, two cast members on Nash Bridges accused Johnson of s--ual assault. Both cases were settled with confidential settlements.

In 2001, a 36-year old woman accused Johnson of grabbing and bruising her arm and lewdly propositioning her outside a restroom at a San Francisco sushi bar. The woman's friends went to confront Johnson but said he fled out the back door. Johnson said he was considering buying an advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle to state his side of the story, but later decided to post the notices on his website. Due to insufficient evidence, no charges were filed.

In 2003, bank statements showing 8 billion USD in transactions were found in Johnson's car while he was traveling in Europe. Initially it was thought Don Johnson was involved in money-laundering, but he was eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

Don Johnson Biography


  • Johnson's height is 5'10".
  • Was considered to play Eliot Ness in The Untouchables.
  • Popular Finnish music group Don Johnson Big Band is named after him.
  • Supports the Democratic party.
  • He once had a screaming match on the radio with the hosts of the syndicated Ron and Ron Show, Ron Bennington (a.k.a. "Tex Bennington," now of The Ron and Fez Show) and Ron Diaz.
  • Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari gave Johnson a silver Ferrari Testarossa while he was working on Miami Vice. Johnson auctioned off the car while going through bankruptcy proceedings.
  • He studied drama at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the city which later became the setting for his TV show Nash Bridges.

Film List

  • The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970)
  • Zachariah (1971)
  • The Harrad Experiment (1973)
  • Lollipops and Roses (1974)
  • Return to Macon County (1975)
  • A Boy and His dog (1975)
  • Swan Lake (1978) (voice in English version)
  • Soggy Bottom, USA (1980)
  • Melanie (1982)
  • Cease Fire (1985)
  • Sweet Hearts Dance (1988)
  • Dead Bang (1989)
  • The Hot Spot (1990)
  • Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)
  • Paradise (1991)
  • Born Yesterday (1993)
  • Guilty as Sin (1993)
  • Tin Cup (1996)
  • Goodbye Lover (1998)
  • The Dying Gaul (2005)

Television Work

  • Law of the Land (1976)
  • The City (1977)
  • Cover Girls (1977)
  • Pressure Point (1978)
  • Ski Lift to Death (1978)
  • The Two-Five (1978)
  • Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978)
  • First, You Cry (1978)
  • Tales of the Unexpected (1979)
  • Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill (1979)
  • The Rebels (1979) (miniseries)
  • From Here to Eternity (1980) (canceled after 13 episodes)
  • Beulah Land (1980) (miniseries)
  • Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1980)
  • Elvis and the Beauty Queen (1981)
  • The Two Lives of Carol Letner (1981)
  • Miami Vice (1984-1989)
  • The Long Hot Summer (1985)
  • In Pursuit of Honor (1995)
  • Nash Bridges (1996-2001) (also producer)
  • Word of Honor (2003) (also co-executive producer)
  • Just Legal (2005) (canceled after 3 episodes)


  • Barbra Streisand - Til I Loved You (Duet with Don Johnson) Album (1990)
  • Don Johnson - Let It Roll Album (1989)
  • Don Johnson - Heartbeat Album (1987)
  • Don Johnson - Heartbeat Full Length Video (1987)

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