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|Born||Ronald Samuel Johnson
May 14, 1949
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
|Died||November, 1998 (age 49)
Sammy Johnson (May 14, 1949, Gateshead – November 1998) was an English actor.
The son of Samuel Johnson and Thomasina (Tina) Scott, his birth name was Ronald Samuel Johnson. He was brother to two brothers Kenneth (who died in September 1964), Raymond (Jimmy) and two sisters Valerie and Catherine. He has two children.
Johnson was raised in Gateshead and lived on the Springwell Estate. From an early age he was interested in music and played guitar, which he wore around his neck. Later he became a member of the band Pigmeat along with Jim Murray and Ray Stubbs. After playing bass guitar at Live Theatre in a panto he was asked to act in the show. He applied for Equity membership but they already had a 'Ron Johnson' so he used his father's name of 'Sammy'. He appeared in several TV productions and often worked with local writers like C. P. Taylor, Tom Hadaway, Leonard Barras and Arthur McKenzie but continued to be a musician with the 'Ray Stubbs R&B Allstars' as well as forming 'Matt Vinyl and the Decorators'.
Johnson was cast as Martin Cooper in the second series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. He was then chosen by Jimmy Nail to play 'Stick' in Spender, which was written by Jimmy Nail and Ian La Frenais. Other famous roles he played were in VIZ's Sid the Sexist and in ITV's adaptation of Catherine Cookson's The Gambling Man as Victor Pittie. He then turned to scriptwriting and moved to Spain in the hills above Málaga, which is where he died while out jogging in 1998 at the age of 49.
After his death, the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund was set up. There is a biennial variety concert named Sunday for Sammy hosted by Tim Healy and (until 2008) Jimmy Nail, featuring sketches with North East personalities. Kevin Whately, Denise Welch and Peter Beardsley are amongst the regular contributors.