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Best known as Don Johnson, American actor and singer Donnie Wayne Johnson was born on December 15th, 1949 in Flat Creek, Missouri. Living in Wichita, Kansas, since he was six years old, Johnson became interested in acting from a young age. He participated in plays throughout his high school years and, after graduating in 1967, intended to major in theater at the University of Kansas. However, he left after a year and moved to California, where he enrolled in the American Conservatory Theater, located in San Francisco.

Johnson’s professional acting career began in 1969, when he was cast in a stage production of Fortune and Men’s Eyes. A year later, he made his film debut in The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart. In 1971, Don landed his first television role, in short-lived crime drama Serge. He would follow this appearance by guest roles in other television shows of the time, such as Young Dr. Kildare, The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, The Rookies, The Streets of San Francisco, Nashville 99 and Police Story. He can also be seen in Zachariah (1971), The Harrad Experiment (1973), A Boy and His Dog, Return to Macon County (both 1975), and Melanie (1982).

Although he had been working in the entertainment business for more than a decade, Johnson didn’t make a breakthrough in his career until he secured the role of undercover police detective Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice. The show lasted from 1984 to 1990 and was a big commercial and critical success, praised for its music and cinematography. Johnson’s performance on the show earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor. While starring in Miami Vice, Don continued to work on movies, most of them made for television, and he also released his first studio album, Heartbeat, in 1986. Let It Roll, his second album, came out in 1989.

During the first half of the 1990s, Johnson was seen mainly in films, such as Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991), Born Yesterday (1991), Guilty as Sin (1993), and In Pursuit of Honor (1995). In 1996, he returned to television to star as the titular character in the police drama Nash Bridges. The show ran for six seasons, until its cancellation in 2001. In 2021, Johnson reprized his role for the revival television movie Nash Bridges. After a failed attempt at starring in another series in 2005, Johnson has mainly been seen in guest-star roles since his last TV show ended. Notable appearances of this time include American Dad!, Eastbound & Down, From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Blood & Oil, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Watchmen and Sick Note. In 2020, Johnson joined the cast of sitcom Kenan, and remained on the show until its cancellation two seasons later.

On the big screen, Johnson has starred in Machete (2010), Django Unchained (2012), The Other Woman (2014), Book Club (2018), Vault and Knives Out (both 2019). Amongst his upcoming projects are comedy Shriver, as well as thrillers Rebel Ridge and Unit 234.

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