R.I.P. Georgann Johnson, actress whose career spanned five decades in TV and movies
The prolific actress passed away on June 4 at the age of 91.
aImage: The Everett Collection/CBS Television Distribution
In Midnight Cowboy, Georgann Johnson played one of the memorable rich ladies Jon Voight's Joe Buck encountered on the streets of New York, dressed in a neatly buttoned jacket and forming the perfect visual counterpoint to the cowboy who came to the big city. No matter how big or small the part Johnson played as a prolific actress for more than 50 years, she delivered moments that elevated the movies and TV shows she touched.
Most recently, TV fans will likely recall her recurring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. She played Dr. Quinn's mother, the dignified Elizabeth Quinn, whom we first meet when she's deathly ill, but who we watched return for memorable two-part episodes through to the final season. But classic TV fans would point young viewers to Mister Peepers, a hit sitcom from the 1950s, where Johnson played Tony Randall's bride Marge, a delightful character strongly featured across two seasons.
The actress proved early on that she had a knack for both comedic and dramatic roles, doing as much in multiple episodes on shows like The Fugitive and Alfred Hitchcock Presents to mess with your pulse as she did in sitcoms like The Jeffersons, Three's Company and Mama's Family to generate belly laughs. On Mama's Family, she was the memorable matriarch across from Thelma Harper in a game of Family Feud, facing off against Vinton at the buzzer and taking part in one of the show's funniest episodes.
Johnson continued appearing on TV through 2007, playing major guest parts on recent shows like Cold Case, Crossing Jordan and JAG. Over a career that spanned more than five decades, the actress raised the bar as a memorable guest star on established hit shows.
On June 4, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Georgann Johnson passed away at the age of 91.