Brad Johnson, who became a household name thanks to his role on “Melrose Place,” has died at 62. According to reports, the actor passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Johnson’s representative, Linda McAlister, revealed that he passed away in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 18, per The Hollywood Reporter. His rep. just recently announced the tragic news.
In addition to his work on “Melrose Place,” the star was also known for his work on the silver screen. He had a role in Steven Spielberg’s romantic film Always alongside actors such as Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss. The late actor is survived by his wife, Laurie, and their children, Shane, Bellamy, Rachel, Eliana, Eden, Rebekah, Annabeth, and William.
“Although he was taken too early, he lived life to the fullest and taught his children to do the same,” his family said. “Brad greatly enjoyed improving and enhancing land in a way that maintained and respected its natural beauty. He always felt most at home outdoors, and his passion for the land made that evident. As much as he loved cowboying, hunting and land, Brad loved nothing more than his family.”
Beyond acting, Johnson was also a one-time rodeo cowboy and a former “Marlboro Man.”
On-screen, he portrayed a bombardier in 1991’s Flight of the Intruder and as Henry Nash, one of the men under the command of Teddy Roosevelt, in the 1997’s TNT miniseries Rough Riders, also featuring Tom Berenger.
He also starred as the pediatrician Dominick O’Malley, who has a relationship with Daphne Zuniga’s Jo Reynolds, on “Melrose Place.” He was also Maj. Matthew Quentin Shepherd on the syndicated adventure series “Soldier of Fortune, Inc.” in the mid-90s
Brad Jonhson remembered for his acting & fierce love for the outdoors
In Steven Spielberg’s Always, Johnson stars as Ted Baker, an aerial firefighter. The 1989 film was a remake of Victor Fleming’s A Guy Named Joe from 1943.
Brad William Johnson was born on Oct. 24, 1959, in Tucson, Arizona. Growing up, Johnson was the son of a horse trainer. In 1984, at 25, he joined a professional rodeo circuit. He first got noticed by a casting director looking for cowboys for a beer commercial. When he saw him wrestling steers in Wyoming, he knew he had found his man.
Standing at 6-foot-3, Johnson was booked as the iconic “Marlboro Man” for the cigarette brand in ads and commercials. He also had several roles in Calvin Klein ads. He got his first acting gig on a 1986 episode of the CBS sitcom “Dallas.”
Although he made a name for himself in Hollywood, the rugged, rural American west would always be his home. Johnson built a hunting lodge in New Mexico and often spent his time restoring Winchester rifles. He also lived in the Colorado Rocky mountains before moving to North Texas. There, he traded his life of acting to sell ranch real estate.
However, last year, he found himself back in the actor’s chair when he booked a role in Treasure Valley, a Western movie set in Idaho. Sadly, none of his scenes were filmed following the sudden death of actor-writer Jay Pickett in July.