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Kenny Johnson

Kenny Johnson

American actor
Kenny Johnson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
A.K.A. Kenneth Johnson
Is Actor Film actor Television actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 13 July 1963, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Age 57 years
The details


Kenneth Allen "Kenny" Johnson (July 13, 1963) is an American actor well known for his portrayal of Detective Curtis Lemansky on the drama series The Shield, Butch "Burner" Barnes on Pensacola: Wings of Gold, Joseph Shaw on Cold Case, Detective Hamilton "Ham" Dewey on Saving Grace, Herman Kozik on Sons of Anarchy, Matt Webb on Prime Suspect, Tyler Gray on Burn Notice, U.S. Marshal Max Clayton on Dexter, and Caleb Calhoun on Bates Motel.

Early life

Kenneth Allen Johnson was born in New Haven, Connecticut and was raised on a 30-acre farm in Weathersfield, Vermont. For his college education, he attended Central Connecticut State University, where he played football and basketball. Prior to starting his acting career, he spent approximately four years modelling for agencies including Wilhelmina and Ford Models. This path led to Johnson living for a year in Boston, Massachusetts, before finally settling in Los Angeles, California, where he eventually found acting.


Johnson got his start in television commercials, including one of the very first ads for LA Gear. A former champion arm wrestler, he appeared as bit characters in various television programs, such as Family Matters, Grace Under Fire, Caroline in the City, Pensacola: Wings of Gold, Sliders, 18 Wheels of Justice, Just Shoot Me!, NCIS: Los Angeles, Lie to Me, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Protector.

In 1998, he appeared in the first several minutes of the first Blade, as Heatseeking Dennis, who was saved (by Blade) from a vampire played by Traci Lords. In October 2005, he appeared in the Smallville season 5 episode "Mortal" as a metahuman called Tommy Lee. He also appeared in the 2006 Hallmark Channel original movie, Desolation Canyon, with Stacy Keach and Patrick Duffy and starred in the 2005 indie film Zzyzx, a thriller about two friends who take a detour on their way to Las Vegas.

Johnson originally auditioned for the role of ill-fated Terry Crowley in The Shield, which ultimately went to Reed Diamond. Casting directors were so impressed with the audition that they asked him to come in for the role of Lemansky. Johnson was unsure of how to go about the character, who wasn't very much developed at that point. During the audition, Johnson made some choices for the character that he initially thought ruined his chances of winning the role. However, the audition turned out to be successful and he was cast. Lemansky quickly became a major player in the first season because of the chemistry Johnson shared with his castmates.

After The Shield, Johnson had recurring roles on Cold Case, first as a supposed murder victim, and later as a love interest for Lilly Rush. He was later cast in the TNT series Saving Grace, as Detective Hamilton "Ham" Dewey. Johnson also appeared during the second, third and fourth seasons of Sons of Anarchy as Sgt. At Arms and biker named Herman Kozik from the Tacoma chapter. He also directed and starred in the short film I Heard the Mermaids Singing.

On August 16, 2010, Johnson appeared in Fox's Lie to Me, along with several fellow cast members from The Shield (Benito Martinez, Catherine Dent, David Rees Snell, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, and David Marciano). In 2011, Johnson appeared in Lifetime's series The Protector along with fellow Sons of Anarchy co-star Ally Walker. Johnson also appeared as a regular on NBC's crime drama Prime Suspect, which premiered September 22, 2011, playing the contractor boyfriend of the shows lead character, Detective Jane Timoney (Maria Bello). Also in 2011, Johnson starred as Frank Connor, a convicted drug smuggler who leaves prison after 22 years for one youthful mistake, in Few Options. He then guest starred as Tyler Gray in the sixth season of Burn Notice (2012), and as U.S. Marshal Max Clayton in the eighth and final season of Dexter (2013).

Johnson appeared in the A&E drama-thriller television series Bates Motel. He recurred in the second season, but became a main cast member for the third season. He then recurred on the fifth season of Covert Affairs as a former CIA paramilitary operative James Decker. Johnson co-starred in the 2015 thriller Solace. In August 2015, it was reported that Johnson would be part of the main cast for the second season of ABC's anthology series Secrets and Lies. He has been cast as Officer Luca in the CBS drama pilot S.W.A.T., based on the 2003 film of the same name.

Personal life

Johnson married Cathleen Oveson on December 21, 2005 in Maui, Hawaiian Islands. In October 2008, the couple announced they were expecting their first child. Their daughter, Angelica Scarlet Johnson, was born on May 6, 2009 in Los Angeles.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Mirage Greg
1990 The Forbidden Dance Dave
1995 Bushwhacked State Patrolman
1996 Nineball Nicky
1998 Major League: Back to the Minors Lance Pare
1998 Blade Heatseeking Dennis
2001 Under Heavy Fire Jimmy Joe
2006 Burned Lou
2007 The Ungodly Officer Murphy
2008 I Heard the Mermaids Singing Al Short film; also director
2011 Few Options Frank Connor Also co-producer
2013 Timmy Muldoon and the Search for the Shadoweyes Bandit Shotgun Lenny Video short
2015 Solace David Raymond
2015 Blue Murphy
2016 Run the Tide Bo
2017 Check Point Roy Also producer


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Red Shoe Diaries Tracer 2 episodes
1993 The Webbers Chuck Television film
1993 Family Matters Gorgeous Waiter Episode: "Walk on the Wild Side"
1994 Grace Under Fire Skip Episode: "June 15, 1997"
1994 Something Wilder Chad Episode: "Love Native American Style"
1996 Pacific Blue Deke Episode: "Over the Edge"
1996 Caroline in the City Blair Episode: "Caroline and the Ex-Wife"
1996 The Big Easy George Stodermayer Episode: "Stodermayer"
1996 Sliders Slain Skater Episode: "The Dream Masters"
1996 The Burning Zone Dr. Jake Lietman Episode: "Blood Covenant"
1997 Sins of the Mind Anders Pilot episode
1999 Just Shoot Me Brian McDonald Episode: "The Odd Couple (Part 2)"
1999 Ryan Caulfield: Year One Detective Billy Zabo Episode: "A Night at the Gashole"
1998–2000 Pensacola: Wings of Gold Butch "Burner" Barnes 27 episodes
2001 The Huntress Kevin Styles 2 episodes
2001 18 Wheels of Justice Sonny Episode: "Crossing the Line"
2002–2006 The Shield Detective Curtis Lemansky 66 episodes
2002 One on One Brandon Episode: "The Way You Make Me Feel"
2003 Boomtown Robert "Bobby" Cherry Episode: "Haystack"
2005 Smallville Tommy Lee Episode: "Mortal"
2006 Desolation Canyon Press Reynolds Television film
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Randy Bolen Episode: "Time of Your Death"
2006 Aquaman Sheriff Unsold pilot
2006 Cold Case Joseph Shaw 5 episodes
2007–2010 Saving Grace Detective Ham Dewey 46 episodes
2009–2011 Sons of Anarchy Herman Kozik 12 episodes
2010 NCIS: Los Angeles Tommy Boyd Episode: "Past Lives"
2010 Lie to Me Malcolm Hessler Episode: "Pied Piper"
2011–2012 Prime Suspect Matt Webb 13 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Sean Riggs Episode: "Dirty"
2011 The Protector Detective Cummings Episode: "Help"
2012 The Mentalist Greg Marshall Episode: "So Long, and Thanks for All the Red Snapper"
2012 Burn Notice Tyler Gray 3 episodes
2013 Dexter U.S. Marshal Max Clayton 3 episodes
2014–2017 Bates Motel Caleb Calhoun 17 episodes
2014 Castle Mr. Harden Episode: "In the Belly of the Beast"
2014 Motive Doug Slater Episode: "For You I Die"
2014–2015 Chicago Fire Tommy Welch 7 episodes
2014 Covert Affairs James Decker 3 episodes
2016 Secrets and Lies Danny Voss 10 episodes
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