Rugged and strikingly handsome, Brad grew up on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona. His father's stories inspired him to become a cowboy and an outdoorsman, which led him to a stint as the Marlboro Man and then into acting. Brad likens himself to a piece in the puzzle of the storytelling process that allows writers and directors to tell their stories. It is this modesty and quiet strength that has critics comparing him to John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and James Stewart. Acclaimed Hollywood writer and director John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Clear and Present Danger) states in People Magazine: 'He's in that Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda mold. He's got a different quality than the guys today.' Not surprising, considering that what Johnson loves most about his craft is what he describes as Old Hollywood, the family-like bond forged on the set between performers and crew that makes the project succeed.
Brad's route to stardom was speedy, dramatic, and circuitous. He joined the rodeo circuit while attending college on a baseball scholarship. In 1984, while wrestling steers, Johnson was spotted by a casting director looking for cowboys to become extras in a Busch beer commercial. After this first break, he was cast as a Marlboro Man. These two spots resulted in a quick selection for a number of Calvin Klein print ads, other noteworthy commercials, and his relocation to Los Angeles.
Within three months of his arrival, and after the start of acting lessons, Roger Corman cast him to star in Nam Angels. Around the same time, Steven Spielberg discovered him and offered Johnson a coveted role in Always, as the flyer who replaces Richard Dreyfuss in Holly Hunter's affections. When asked about her Always co-star, Holly Hunter described Brad as 'All twisted steel and sex appeal.' The Spielberg film led John Milius and Paramount to put him back into the pilot's seat in the major release Flight of the Intruder.
Brad's television roles include starring in Jerry Bruckheimer's Soldier of Fortune and the CBS telepic Silk Hope, which paired him with Farrah Fawcett and garnered very high ratings. Rough Riders also received outstanding reviews, and he is the two-time Western Heritage award winner for Ned Blessing: The True Story of My Life and Crossfire Trail. Brad's most recent TV movies include Riverworld (2002) and Blind Obsession (2001).
Brad Johnson Facts