Capricorn Dec 27, 1945 Washington, DC Director and Producer
Johnson first became involved in show business in 1964, as an actor playing the sheriff's deputy in the Spanish "spaghetti western" Brandy. He spent ten years of his youth in Spain, where he worked as a movie extra in films such as Nicholas and Alexandra and David Lean's Dr. Zhivago. This led to small acting roles in the European western Ride and Kill and the 1964 drama The Thin Red Line. He earned an undergraduate degree in Drama from the University of Virginia and an MA in Film Scholarship from the University of Iowa, Johnson moved to New York and entered the Director's Guild training program. One of his first projects was the drama Next Stop, Greenwich Village. Johnson relocated to Los Angeles and worked as an assistant director on such projects as Movie, Movie, The Brink's Job, Escape from Alcatraz and Mel Brooks's High Anxiety.
In a successful partnership with Barry Levinson, Johnson produced all of the writer-director's films from 1982-1994, Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam, The Natural, Tin Men, Toys, Young Sherlock Holmes, Avalon, Diner, and Bugsy, which was nominated for ten Academy Awards, Bugsy also got a Golden Globe Award.
In 1994 Johnson established his own independent production company and won the Los Angeles Film Critics New Generation Award for his very first effort; A Little Princess. Under his new banner, Johnson produced the comedy Home Fries, and the thriller Donnie Brasco. He also served as executive producer for CBS-TV's L.A. Doctors and Falcone, and for the drama The Guardian.
Johnson's recent slate of motion pictures includes The Alamo and The Rookie, The Banger Sisters, the drama Moonlight Mile, supernatural thriller Dragonfly, the Irish satire An Everlasting Piece, spooky thriller What Lies Beneath, the hit comedy Galaxy Quest, and My Dog Skip the acclaimed family drama.
In recent years Johnson produced the drama The Notebook, The Wendell Baker Story,and How to Eat Fried Worms.
Johnson has either presented or executive produced Sniper, Bob Roberts, Kafka, Oscar-nominated Quiz Show, and Journey of Hope winner of the 1999 Foreign Language Academy Award. Recent projects include The Hunting Party, Lake City, Ballast, My Sister's Keeper. He is working with Guillermo del Toro to produce Hater.
In 2005 Johnson produced The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards and three BAFTAs, winning one of each. In 2008 he produced a sequel, Prince Caspian. The third film in the Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released December 10, 2010.