Ashley Johnson (actress)

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Ashley Johnson
AshleyJohnson cropped.jpg
Johnson at the 2014 WonderCon
Ashley Suzanne Johnson

(1983-08-09) August 9, 1983 (age 37)
OccupationActress, voice actress, singer
Years active1990–present

Ashley Suzanne Johnson (born August 9, 1983)[1] is an American television, film and voice actress. Her work includes roles such as Chrissy Seaver on Growing Pains, Mary Beth Caldwell in The Help, Amber Ahmed on The Killing, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing and FBI special agent Patterson on the NBC series Blindspot, with voice-work as Gretchen Grundler on Recess, Terra on Teen Titans, Jinmay on Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, teenage Gwen Tennyson in Ben 10, Ellie in The Last of Us and its sequel, Gortys in Tales from the Borderlands, Shiseru in Naruto: Shippuden and Tulip Olsen and Lake on Infinity Train. She is also a cast member on Critical Role.

Johnson is a two-time BAFTA Award winner for her performance as Ellie in The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Left Behind; she is the only person to have won the Best Performer award more than once.

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in Camarillo, California, on August 9, 1983,[1] the youngest child of independent film producer Nancy (née Spruiell) and exploration ship captain Cliff Johnson. She is of Danish, Irish, Native American, Norwegian, Scottish and Swedish descent.[2] She has two older siblings. Her father started a new job nine days after she was born, subsequently moving the family to Franklin, Michigan. She studied violin and piano at the International School of Music.


Johnson's career began at age six, when she played the role of Chrissy Seaver on the sitcom Growing Pains from 1990 to 1992. The character's age was accelerated from a toddler between seasons for plotting purposes. By the time she was 12, Johnson had been in the casts of eight TV series. She later reprised her role as Chrissy in The Growing Pains Movie and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers. In the one season series Phenom (1993–94), she played the mischievous younger sister of a rising teenage tennis star. She appeared in the 1994 sitcom All-American Girl, which also lasted for only one season. She played DJ's overbearing girlfriend Lisa in the Roseanne episode "The Blaming of the Shrew". During the 1995–96 ABC lineup, she played Gracie Wallace in the sitcom Maybe This Time. She played Alex Marshall in the 2000 comedy What Women Want. In 2008, she became a regular on the drama Dirt as Sharlee Cates. In 2009, Johnson appeared in "Omega", the first-season finale of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

In 2012, she appeared in The Avengers (also directed by Whedon) as Beth, the waitress who is saved by Captain America. She was intended to appear in future films as his newest love interest (as implied in a brief scene in the film), but that plan was shelved and instead actress Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter character became involved with Rogers. Although her role was minor, the Blu-ray edition of The Avengers contains some deleted scenes that expand her role in the movie and further her interactions with Rogers.[3][4]

As a voice actress, she voiced Sean in the U.S. version of The First Snow of Winter in 1998, Gretchen Grundler on Recess, Terra in the second and fifth seasons of Teen Titans Jinmay on Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! and Gwen Tennyson on Ben 10: Alien Force and in future variations of the Ben 10 franchise.

She co-starred in the PlayStation-exclusive The Last of Us as the character Ellie, which was released to critical acclaim and commercial success.[5] She subsequently won a video game BAFTA for Best Performer and a VGX Award for Best Voice Actress for her role in the game. On March 12, 2015, Johnson won another BAFTA for Best Performer for the same role in the game's downloadable content, The Last of Us: Left Behind.[6] She reprises the role in The Last of Us Part II.

Johnson appears in several Geek & Sundry shows, including playing occult specialist Morgan on the web series Spooked on Hulu, playing Alhambra and Dead of Winter on the board gaming web series TableTop,[7][8] and playing Pike Trickfoot and Yasha Nydoorin in Critical Role.[9]

From 2015 to 2020, she played FBI forensic specialist Patterson in the NBC drama series Blindspot.[10]

In 2015, Johnson voiced Petra the Warrior in Minecraft: Story Mode by Telltale Games and Mojang.

In 2016, Johnson voiced Tulip Olsen in the pilot for Infinity Train and reprised the role for the series in 2019, additionally voicing Lake and the Steward.

As of 2020, Johnson was made President of the Critical Role Foundation. [11]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson enjoys singing and playing the cello, guitar, piano and violin. Her role as Ellie in The Last of Us Part II also included acoustic guitar covers of "Future Days" by Pearl Jam, "Take On Me" by A-ha and "Through the Valley" by Shawn James, as well as "Wayfaring Stranger", a duet with co-star Troy Baker. Since 2012, Johnson has been in a relationship with American poet, singer and writer Brian W. Foster, who hosts the Critical Role aftershow Talks Machina.[12][13] In December 2018, she and Foster announced their engagement.[14] Her older sister, Haylie Johnson, is also an actress known for her role as Haylie on Kids Incorporated and is married to musician Jonny Lang.[15] In her spare time, she co-runs the photography company Infinity Pictures with production assistant Mila Shah. In April 2000, Johnson's father was diagnosed with liver cancer and lung cancer, which claimed his life later that year.[16] At the time of his death, Johnson's father was also suffering from Hepatitis C.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Lionheart Nicole Gaultier
1995 Nine Months Shannon Dwyer
1998 Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 Josie Hemphill
The First Snow of Winter Sean McDuck (voice) Short film
U.S. version
1999 Anywhere but Here Sarah
2000 What Women Want Alex Marshall
2001 Recess: School's Out Gretchen Grundler (voice)
Recess Christmas Direct-to-video
Rustin Lee Wolford
2003 The Failures Lilly Kyle
Recess: All Growed Down
Recess: Taking the 5th Grade Gretchen Grundler (voice) Direct-to-video
2004 Killer Diller Angie
King of the Corner Elena Spivak
2005 Nearing Grace Merna Ash
2006 Fast Food Nation Amber
Grad Night Student
2007 The Brothers Solomon Patricia
2008 Columbus Day Alana
Otis Riley Lawson
2009 Spread Eva
2011 The Help Mary Beth Caldwell
2012 The Avengers Beth
Much Ado About Nothing Margaret
2015 When Marnie Was There Emily / Miyoko (voices) English dub
2016 Punching Henry Danielle


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1990–1992 Growing Pains Chrissy Seaver Main role (seasons 6–7)
1992 Kids Incorporated Girl in audience Uncredited
Episode: "The Boy of La Mancha"
1993 Men Don't Tell Cindy Television film
The Town Santa Forgot Granddaughter (voice) Television special
1993–1994 Phenom Mary Margaret Doolan Main role
1994 All-American Girl Casey Emmerson
1995 Annie: A Royal Adventure! Annie Warbucks Television film
Roseanne Lisa Episode: "The Blaming of the Shrew"
What a Cartoon! Mina (voice) Episode: "Mina and the Count: Interlude with a Vampire" [18]
1995–1996 Maybe This Time Gracie Wallace Main role
1996–1999 Jumanji Peter Shepherd / Robo-Peter (voices) 40 episodes
1997 Moloney Kate Moloney 3 episodes
Wings Rebecca Episode: "Ms. Write"
1997–2001 Recess Gretchen Grundler (voice) 129 episodes
1998 ER Dana Ellis 2 episodes
Kelly Kelly Maureen Kelly Main role
2000 The Growing Pains Movie Chrissy Seaver Television film
2001 What About Joan Jody Bradford Episode: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Joan"
2002 Ally McBeal Serena Feldman Episode: "Heart and Soul"
The Guardian Betsy Fortunato Episode: "Sacrifice"
Lloyd in Space Violet (voice) 4 episodes
Providence Daphne Wallace 3 episodes
Roswell Eileen Burrows 2 episodes
Touched by an Angel Natalie Tate Episode: "Bring On the Rain"
2003–2004 Married to the Kellys Shari 2 episodes
2004 Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers Chrissy Seaver Television film
2004–2006 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Jinmay (voice) 12 episodes
Teen Titans Terra (voice) 7 episodes
2004–2010 King of the Hill Emily / Jamie (voices)
2005 The X's Kimla (voice) Episode: "License to Slumber/Three Days of the Coin Op"
2006 Lilo & Stitch: The Series Gretchen Grundler (voice) Episode: "Lax: Experiment 285"
2007 Heartland Rebecca Colton Episode: "Mother & Child Reunion"
Monk Susie the Maid Episode: "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service"
2007, 2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dreama Little / brothel girl 2 episodes
2008 Dirt Sharlee Cates Recurring role (season 2)
The Mentalist Clara Tennant Episode: "Seeing Red"
The Middleman Eleanor Draper Episode: "The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation"
Raising the Bar Elise Denton Episode: "Hang Time"
2008–2010 Ben 10: Alien Force Gwen Tennyson / Cicely (voices) 45 episodes
2009 Cold Case Graces Stearns (1966) Episode: "The Crossing"
Dollhouse Wendy / Caroline / Hayden Leeds 2 episodes
2010 Funny or Die Presents Girlfriend 1 episode
Lie to Me Valerie Episode: "Beat the Devil"
2010–2018 Drunk History Various 3 episodes
2010–2012 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Gwen Tennyson (voice) 52 episodes
2011 In Plain Sight Sarah Collins / Sarah Peterschwim Episode: "Something A-mish"
2011–2012 The Killing Amber Ahmed Recurring role (seasons 1); special guest (season 2)
2011–2013 Pound Puppies Amelia / Toyo / Gina / Giblet / Kid #1 (voices) 6 episodes
2012 Drop Dead Diva Veronica Kramer Episode: "Road Trip"
Private Practice Kelly Episode: "The Time Has Come"
2012–2014 Ben 10: Omniverse Gwen Tennyson (voice) 21 episodes
2013 Masters of Sex Flora Banks Episode: "Fallout"
2013–2019 Teen Titans Go! Terra (voice) 6 episodes
2014 Garfunkel and Oates Jane Episode: "Speechless"
2015 Naruto: Shippuden Shiseru (voice) 6 episodes
English dub
Stalker Stephanie Beekman Episode: "My Hero"
2015–2017 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Renet (voice) 6 episodes [18]
2015–2020 Blindspot Patterson Main role
2019–2020 Infinity Train Tulip Olsen / Lake / the Steward (voices) 20 episodes [20]
2021 Family Guy Lisa (voice)

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Teen Titans Terra
2008 Ben 10: Alien Force Gwen Tennyson
2009 Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
2010 Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction
2011 Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion
2013 Marvel Heroes Spider-Woman Uncredited
The Last of Us Ellie Also motion capture
VGX Award for Best Voice Actress
2013 BAFTA Games Award for Best Performer[18]
2014 The Last of Us: Left Behind Also motion capture
2014 BAFTA Games Award for Best Performer[21]
Infamous First Light Jenny [18]
Tales from the Borderlands Gortys / Hyperion System Voice "Hyperion System Voice" is credited as "Additional Voices"
Final Fantasy Explorers Additional voices English version
2015 Skylanders: SuperChargers Gadfly Glades Collector
Lego Dimensions Terra Uncredited
Minecraft: Story Mode Petra [18]
2016 The Witness Additional voices
Lego Marvel's Avengers Beth the Waitress [22]
2018 Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Narrator / Pike Trickfoot / Ydwin [23][24]
2020 The Last of Us Part II Ellie Also motion capture and musical performances ("Take On Me", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Through the Valley")
Nominated for Best Performance at The Game Awards 2020[25]
Nominated for 2020 BAFTA Games Award for Best Performer in a Leading Role[26]

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013, 2015 Tabletop Herself 2 episodes
2015–present Critical Role Pike Trickfoot (campaign 1) / Yasha Nydoorin (campaign 2) Cast member
RPG web series[27][28]
2020 Animal Talking with Gary Whitta Herself


Episode: "Selena Gomez, Cory Barlog, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Shannon Woodward"


  1. ^ a b "Behind The Voice Actors – Ashley Johnson". Behind The Voice Actors.
  2. ^ Cf. among others the death announcement for Ingvald Taft in Nordisk Tidende December 26, 1957, in which one of his grandsons, Cliff Johnson, was mentioned, as well as Nordisk Tidende December 11, 1941 (marriage of Cliff's parents Reuben Johnson and Evelyn Taft) and Nordisk Tidende January 5, 1950 (which among others tells that Ingvald Taft originally came from Arendal, Norway, while his late wife (Victoria Kristensen), came from Vanse outside Farsund, Norway). See also Victoria's christening in Vest-Agder county, Vanse in Vanse, Parish register (official) no. A 12 (1879–1903), Born and baptised 1887, Page 84, no. 20, cf. Victoria's petition for naturalization of September 22, 1922, New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794–1940.
  3. ^ "The Avengers deleted scene sees Captain America as a man out of time". August 30, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "Former 'Growing Pains' child star has small-but-important 'Avengers' role". May 4, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (June 5, 2013). "The Last of Us review round-up: 'Easily Naughty Dog's finest moment'". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Harradence, Michael (March 13, 2015). "The Last of Us voice actress Ashley Johnson's BAFTA speech in full". Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  7. ^ "Alhambra: Ashley Johnson, Shane Nickerson, and Dodger Leigh Join Wil on TableTop, episode 17". Geek and Sundry. January 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "TableTop: Dead of Winter". Geek and Sundry. February 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Salud, April (May 22, 2015). "Critical Role: Episode 11 – The Temple Showdown". Geek & Sundry. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (March 10, 2015). "Rachel DiPillo To Star In NBC Pilot 'Cuckoo'; Ashley Johnson Joins 'Blindspot'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "Critical Role Foundation Information Page". Critical Role - Foundation. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "Brianwfoster". Instagram. October 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "Ashley Johnson Puts Up A Valentine Picture On Instagram; A Perfect Dating Affair With Boyfriend After All?". 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Tribune, Steve Knopper, Special to the. "Jonny Lang: No looking back for blues guitarist". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  16. ^ "Local actress has far outgrown her 'Growing Pains' start". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "Jonny Lang: Finding Peace in Amazing Grace". - The Christian Broadcasting Network. October 17, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Ashley Johnson – 52 Character Images". Behind The Voice Actors.
  19. ^ ""Naruto Shippuden Set 23": The Allure of Power". January 19, 2016. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "Infinity Train – Minisode – Cartoon Network". Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "2015 Games Performer – BAFTA Awards". Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  22. ^ "Four Reasons Lego Marvel's Avengers Might Be The Best Lego Game Yet". Game Informer.
  23. ^ "Obsidian #Deadfire on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Sawyer, Josh (May 8, 2018), Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Ashley Johnson, Laura Bailey, Liam O'Brien, retrieved June 11, 2018
  25. ^ Stedman, Alex (December 10, 2020). "The Game Awards 2020: Complete Winners List". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "2020 BAFTA Games Awards: The Nominations". BAFTA. Retrieved March 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Knox, Kelly (January 16, 2018). "Your First Look at the Official Art for the Second Critical Role Campaign". Geek & Sundry. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  28. ^ "Check Out Matt Mercer's New D&D Show | Force Grey: Giant Hunters". Geek and Sundry. July 11, 2016. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2018.

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