Van Johnson

Van Johnson, the handsome and affable screen star who reached such heights of popularity during the 1940s that he was called "The Voiceless Sinatra," died at an assisted living center in Nyack, AP reported. He was 92. Red-haired, blue-eyed, tall and preternaturally wholesome, the former Broadway chorus boy skyrocketed to fame during the years of World War II, when Hollywood was casting around for replacements for missing stars. (A 1943 car crash that almost decapitated him, and left him with a metal plate in his forehead, exempted him from service.) On the strength of his innocent, all-American charm, and roles in a string of light comedies and dramas, he was mobbed by bobby-soxers wherever he went. In 1945, he was the second biggest box office draw in the nation, behind Bing Crosby.

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  • Born: Aug 25, 1916 in Newport, RI, USA
  • Death: Dec 12, 2008 in Nyack, NY