Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space
19 October 1903
|Died||12 May 1971
San Fernando, California, U.S.
|Other names||Super Swedish Angel
|Occupation||Professional wrestler, actor|
Tor Johansson (19 October 1903 – 12 May 1971), better known by the stage name Tor Johnson, was a Swedish professional wrestler (billed as The Super Swedish Angel) and actor.
Johnson was born in Sweden, the son of Karl J. Johansson and Lovisa Petersson.
Johnson weighed 181 kilograms (400 pounds) at his heaviest. He had a full head of blond hair, but shaved it to maintain an imposing and villainous appearance in his wrestling and acting work. He began getting bit parts in films upon moving to California, usually as the strongman or weightlifter, as early as 1934. His film career ended in the early 1960s, after he appeared in a string of poorly-rated films. However, he continued to make appearances on television and made a number of commercials.
During his career as an actor, Johnson befriended director Edward D. Wood, Jr., who directed him in a number of films, most notably Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space. He was very friendly to work with; actress Valda Hansen, who worked with Johnson in 1959's Night of the Ghouls, described him as "like a big sugar bun". During this period, Johnson appeared as a guest contestant on the quiz show You Bet Your Life, during which he showed the show's host Groucho Marx, his "scariest face". Marx ran off the stage in mock terror, then returned and pleaded: "Don't make that face again!"
In the 1970s, a Halloween mask of Johnson was created and sold by Hollywood maskmaker Don Post. In the 1980s, Johnson became a featured character in the comics of Drew Friedman. Johnson was portrayed by wrestler George "The Animal" Steele in Tim Burton's 1994 film Ed Wood. In 2005, Johnson and the Plan 9 cast were lampooned in an episode of the television series Deadly Cinema. Several films in which Tor appeared, including Bride of the Monster and The Beast of Yucca Flats, would be riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Tor's first appearance in each film was often gleefully announced by Joel/Mike and the Bots.
|1935||Man on the Flying Trapeze||Tosoff||Uncredited|
|1936||Under Two Flags||Bidou||Uncredited|
|1941||Shadow of the Thin Man||Jack the Ripper||Uncredited|
|1943||The Meanest Man in the World||Vladimir Pulasky||Uncredited|
|1943||Swing Out the Blues||Weightlifter||Uncredited|
|1944||The Canterville Ghost||Bold Sir Guy||Uncredited|
|1944||Lost in a Harem||Majordomo||Uncredited|
|1947||Road to Rio||Sandor||Uncredited|
|1948||State of the Union||Wrestler||Uncredited|
|1948||Behind Locked Doors||The Champ||Uncredited|
|1950||Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion||Abou Ben|
|1950||The Reformer and the Redhead||Guest At Finnish-American Rally||Uncredited|
|1951||The Lemon Drop Kid||Super Swedish Angel|
|1951||Angels in the Outfield||Wrestler On TV||Uncredited|
|1952||The San Francisco Story||Buck|
|1952||Lady in the Iron Mask||Renac||Uncredited|
|1955||Bride of the Monster||Lobo|
|1956||The Black Sleep||Mr. Curry|
|1957||Journey to Freedom||Giant Turk|
|1959||Night of the Ghouls||Lobo|
|1959||Plan 9 from Outer Space||Inspector Daniel Clay|
|1961||The Beast of Yucca Flats||Joseph Javorsky / The Beast|
|1953–1954||You Are There||2 episodes|
|1954||General Electric Theater||Bald Man||1 episode|
|1954||Rocky Jones, Space Ranger||Naboro||1 episode|
|1956||The Adventures of Hiram Holliday||Bandini the Strongman||1 episode|
|1960||Adventures in Paradise||Miko in "Once Around the Circuit"||1 episode|
|1960||Peter Gunn||Bruno||1 episode|
|1960||Bonanza||Busthead Brannigan||1 episode|
|1961||Shirley Temple's Storybook||Strong Man||1 episode|