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Rita Johnson

Rita Johnson

Actress (1913-1965)
Rita Johnson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actress (1913-1965)
A.K.A. Rita Ann Johnson
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 13 August 1913, Worcester, USA
Death 31 October 1965, Hollywood, USA (aged 52 years)
Star sign Leo
New England Conservatory of Music
The details


Rita Ann Johnson (August 13, 1913 – October 31, 1965) was an American actress.

Early years

Johnson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of a single mother, Lillian Johnson.

She worked as a waitress in her mother's lunchroom and sold hot dogs on the Boston-Worcester turnpike. She later attended the New England Conservatory of Music.


Early in her career, Johnson was busy in radio. "By 1936 she ... was appearing in ten radio shows a week." She played the leading role in Joyce Jordan, M.D..

Johnson began acting on Broadway in 1935 and started her film career two years later. She played a murderer in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and a doomed wife in the RKO film noir They Won't Believe Me (1947).

Johnson suffered injuries (attributed to a falling hair dryer) to her head and legs September 6, 1948, requiring brain surgery, causing her film career to come to a near complete stop. A newspaper article three years afterward reported, "It took her a year to recover. Her left side was paralyzed temporarily, and for a while she couldn't walk." Her screen time in movies after that was limited due to her reduced mobility and powers of concentration. She also suffered from alcoholism from the time of her injuries until her death of a brain hemorrhage on October 31, 1965, at age 52.

Personal life

Johnson was married to businessman L. Stanley Kahn. They were granted a divorce on June 29, 1943. She married, secondly, to Edwin Hutzler from 1943 to 1946, but that marriage also ended in divorce.

Partial filmography

  • London by Night (1937) - Patricia Herrick
  • My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) - Ellen Warfield
  • Man-Proof (1938) - Florence
  • Letter of Introduction (1938) - Honey
  • Smashing the Rackets (1938) - Letty Lane
  • Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938) - Sally Harrison
  • The Girl Downstairs (1938) - Rosalind Brown
  • Honolulu (1939) - Cecelia Grayson
  • Within the Law (1939) - Agnes
  • Broadway Serenade (1939) - Judith Tyrrell
  • 6,000 Enemies (1939) - Anne Barry
  • Stronger Than Desire (1939) - Barbara Winter
  • They All Come Out (1939) - Kitty Carson
  • Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) - Lou Farnsby
  • Congo Maisie (1940) - Kay McWade
  • The Golden Fleecing (1940) - Marian Edwards
  • Edison, the Man (1940) - Mary Stilwell
  • Forty Little Mothers (1940) - Mary Blake
  • Maisie Was a Lady (1941) - Minor Role (scenes deleted)
  • Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) - Julia Farnsworth
  • Appointment for Love (1941) - Nancy Benson
  • The Major and the Minor (1942) - Pamela Hill
  • My Friend Flicka (1943) - Nell McLaughlin
  • The Affairs of Susan (1945) - Mona Kent
  • Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (1945) - Nelle McLaughlin
  • The Naughty Nineties (1945) - Bonita Farrow
  • Pardon My Past (1945) - Mary Pemberton
  • The Perfect Marriage (1947) - Mabel Manning
  • The Michigan Kid (1947) - Sue Dawson
  • They Won't Believe Me (1947) - Greta Ballentine
  • Sleep, My Love (1948) - Barby
  • The Big Clock (1948) - Pauline York
  • An Innocent Affair (1948) - Eve Lawrence
  • Family Honeymoon (1948) - Minna Fenster
  • The Second Face (1950) - Claire Elwood
  • Susan Slept Here (1954) - Dr. Rawley, Harvey's Shrink
  • Emergency Hospital (1956) - Head Nurse Norma Mullin
  • All Mine to Give (1957) - Katie Tyler (final film role)

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1943 Lux Radio Theatre My Friend Flicka
1952 Family Theater The Crossroads of Christmas
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 19 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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