Arthur V. Johnson

Arthur V. Johnson (February 2, 1876 - January 17, 1916) was a pioneer actor and director of American silent films. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Arthur Vaughen Johnson began as a film actor with the Edison Studios in The Bronx, New York in 1905 in the one-reel drama "The White Caps" directed by Wallace McCutcheon, Sr. and Edwin S. Porter. In 1908 he went to work for Biograph Studios where he acted in films directed by D.W. Griffith including Resurrection in 1909 and a year later in In Old California, the first movie Griffith ever shot in Hollywood. At Biograph, Arthur Johnson performed with stars such as Mary Pickford and Florence Lawrence. Johnson was reputed to be Griffith's favorite actor. In 1911 he accepted an offer from Lubin Studios in Philadelphia that allowed him to direct as well as act. Health problems ended his career in 1915 after having performed in more than three hundred silent film shorts and having directed twenty-six. Arthur V. Johnson married actress Florence Hackett with whom he had appeared in 1913 in the film, "Power of the Cross." He died of tuberculosis in Philadelphia in 1916, a few weeks short of his fortieth birthday.


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