Brad Johnson, best known for his roles in Melrose Place and Steven Spielberg’s Always died at the age of 62 on February 18, 2022, as confirmed by a representative for the actor. Johnson was known by his family as a “true renaissance man” who “lived life to the fullest,” according to his obituary.
Brad Johnson’s career began in 1984. Rather than jumping straight to acting, the 25-year-old Arizona native thought his future was in the rodeo. It was on the professional rodeo circuit that he was approached by a movie scout, who was struck by the young man’s charm and good looks. Before long, Brad Johnson found himself in California, working as the new Marlboro Man.
The budding star’s big break came in 1989, when he was cast in the Steven Spielberg drama Always as Ted Baker, a command pilot training to fight fires. After Always, Johnson’s acting career took off.
He went on to accrue 45 acting credits including roles in Flight of the Intruder, Rough Riders, Philadelphia Experiment II, and The Birds II: Land’s End. In addition to his film career, Brad Johnson starred in several television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Melrose Place, Courthouse, and Soldier of Fortune, Inc.
Brad Johnson is survived by his wife, Laurie, and their eight children, who will “always cherish the memories that he gifted to them.”
Fans and Colleagues Mourn the Death of Brad Johnson
Throughout his nearly 30-year acting career, Brad Johnson made a number of friends in Hollywood and captured the hearts of fans all over the world. Following the news of his death, messages from mournful fans and colleagues flooded social media.
“Brad Johnson died, but Dr. Dominick O’Malley of Melrose Place will live forever in my heart,” one fan wrote. “Always is one of my favorite movies,” another said.
RIP Brad Johnson. Not ashamed to say that Always is 1 of my favorite Speilberg movies. It came at a difficult time & has remained in my heart ever since. I still cry everytime I watch it. Brad was perfect as the goofy Ted who becomes a stoic hero. 😢 #FilmTwitter #Bradjohnson pic.twitter.com/0Ytc2JSTes— 4krazykatz (@4krazykatz) June 3, 2022
Marg Helgenberger, Brad Johnson’s Always costar, was devastated to learn of the passing of her friend. “I’m very sorry to hear that Brad Johnson has passed away,” she wrote on Twitter. “Working with him in the film Always as well as CSI was a whole lot of fun. Brad’s charm & mischievousness lit up the screen. My thoughts are with his family.”
Brad Johnson on His Hollywood Career, ‘If Something Happens That I Don’t Like, Adios’
A man with humble beginnings, Brad Johnson had a difficult time accepting his newfound stardom. “I don’t know what the allure is,” he said in a 1990 interview with People following his Always role. “And maybe I don’t want to know.”
Endearingly, Brad Johnson’s favorite part about his Hollywood career was that he wasn’t a major star. “When we went out, people would look at me, go ‘Naaaah’. – And run to Danny,” he said of his Flight of the Intruder costar, Danny Glover. “This may be my best time. Because I can do good projects, but I can still go out and eat by myself.”
“If things work out in Hollywood, great. But if something happens that I don’t like, adios,” Johnson explained with a smile. “It’s kind of like my dad says. You only go this way once, and if you do it right, then once is enough.”