Tor Johnson: Difference between revisions

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*Johnson made many appearances in the comics of [[Drew Friedman]], all of which depicted Johnson as being like his hulking moron movie persona in real life. With his eyeballs rolled back in his head, he wandered through various sleazy situations, forever baffled by his surroundings. One typical strip had Johnson dreaming that he encounters several clones of himself, who each insist that they are him. He awakens horrified, immediately calling up a strung-out Bela Lugosi and demanding to know, "''Bela, how many Tor?''"
 
*Johnson made many appearances in the comics of [[Drew Friedman]], all of which depicted Johnson as being like his hulking moron movie persona in real life. With his eyeballs rolled back in his head, he wandered through various sleazy situations, forever baffled by his surroundings. One typical strip had Johnson dreaming that he encounters several clones of himself, who each insist that they are him. He awakens horrified, immediately calling up a strung-out Bela Lugosi and demanding to know, "''Bela, how many Tor?''"
   
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==External links==
 
==External links==

Revision as of 22:52, 6 June 2008

Tor Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space
This face was turned into a Halloween Mask

Tor Johnson, born Tor Johansson, (October 19, 1903May 12, 1971) was a professional wrestler known as The Super Swedish Angel, and occasional actor. He is perhaps best remembered for his roles in a number of B-movies, including police detective turned zombie "Inspector Dan Clay" in Plan 9 from Outer Space. Since his death he has amassed a huge cult following, thanks to a Halloween mask made in his image, his appearances in the comics of Drew Friedman, his appearance in several films screened on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television series, George "The Animal" Steele's portrayal in Tim Burton's biopic about cult director Ed Wood, and many other pop-cultural references.

Biography

Tor Johansson, born on October 19, 1903, in Sweden, the son of Karl J. Johansson and Lovisa Petersson, was a large man, weighing 400 pounds (181 kg) at his biggest. He had a full head of blonde hair, but he shaved it to maintain an imposing, villainous appearance in wrestling and acting appearances. He began getting bit parts in movies upon his move to California - usually as the strongman or weightlifter - as early as 1934. His movie career ended in the early 1960s after appearing in a string of poorly-rated movies (including the famously execrable The Beast of Yucca Flats in 1961). However, he continued to make appearances on television and made a number of commercials.

A number of Johnson's peers had commented that he was a very friendly man and easy to work with on movie sets. Valda Hansen, who worked with Johnson in the 1959 movie Revenge of the Dead said that "Tor was like a big sugar bun." Johnson befriended Bela Lugosi during the time both worked with infamous director Edward D. Wood, Jr., and legend has it that Tor saved Lugosi's life one night when the elder actor was about to commit suicide.

Johnson died on May 12, 1971 at the San Fernando Valley Hospital in San Fernando, California, from heart failure, at the age of 67. He was buried at the Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall, California.

He was portrayed by fellow wrestler George "The Animal" Steele in the Tim Burton film Ed Wood.

Trivia

  • After his death, Johnson's likeness was made into a very popular Halloween mask (a Tor Johnson mask with an eyepatch was later used by wrestler Duke Myers to compete as the Colossus of Death, acting as Andy Kaufman's henchman during Kaufman's feud with Memphis wrestling mainstay Jerry Lawler).
  • Johnson made many appearances in the comics of Drew Friedman, all of which depicted Johnson as being like his hulking moron movie persona in real life. With his eyeballs rolled back in his head, he wandered through various sleazy situations, forever baffled by his surroundings. One typical strip had Johnson dreaming that he encounters several clones of himself, who each insist that they are him. He awakens horrified, immediately calling up a strung-out Bela Lugosi and demanding to know, "Bela, how many Tor?"


External links