Van Johnson, the blond heartthrob who set 1940s female undergarments afire with turns in some of the biggest movies of that decade, died today at the age of 92. The Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Brigadoon star passed away after a serious bout with old age at an assisted living facility in Nyack, NY.
I was convinced this day would never come, but here we are. Van Johnson is dead, and I’m finally in the death pool with a big eight points. I’m shocked.
Johnson played opposite some true motion picture greats in his day—Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable, just to name a few. Yet Hollywood immortality escaped the Van Man, whose extensive filmography includes the following Troy McClure-like entries:
Too Many Girls
Two Girls and a Sailor
Three Guys Named Mike
Divorce American Style
Murder in an Etruscan Cemetery
The first person to correctly guess which one of these movies features Van’s final acting performance (and Heath Ledger’s first!) wins a hard slap across the face from yours truly.
Van Johnson chose an unfortunate time to expire—one day after ’50s sex icon Bettie Page, Unless something crazy comes out in the next few hours (i.e. Van killed the Black Dahlia, Van was the second gunman, Van left everything to Britney Spears, etc), this news will fade away like so many of his biggest features. Damn the injustice of it all. VJ had talent, fer chrissake! He had it coming out every pore. He deserves not to be forgotten.
On the other hand, Bettie Page was fucking hot as shit. I mean, come on, look at this shit:
Recapping the official 2008 JG2Land Sleazetastic Death Pool-O-Rama scores:
LeMar M. – 46
Nathan C. – 16
Me – 8
Everybody Else – 0
Here’s to you, Van. Maybe I’ll dye my hair blond tomorrow and pretend I’m not gay when I really am in your honor.