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Updated January 5th, 2024 at 16:19 IST

Harry Johnson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor, passes away at the age of 81

Born on December 27, 1942, in New Jersey's Plainfield, Harry Johnson was known as Chip Johnson during the 70s and 80s.

Harry Johnson
Harry Johnson | Image:IMDb
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Harry Johnson, who featured in the 2004 series Battlestar Galactica, died at the age of 81 on January 2. The actor took his last breath in Los Angeles after a long illness. Christiane, his wife, verified his demise to Deadline.

Harry Johnson’s career trajectory 

Born on December 27, 1942, in Plainfield, New Jersey, Johnson was known as Chip Johnson in the 1970s and 1980s and was one of Universal Studios' final contract performers.

Johnson began his screen career with the multi-part pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica in 1978 and went on to guest-star on dozens of TV series, including M*A*S*H, Quincy M.E., The Incredible Hulk, Simon & Simon, The Greatest American Hero, Highway to Heaven, The A-Team, Who's the Boss?, Thirtysomething, Melrose Place, Party of Five, Days of Our Lives and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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He was a prominent ADR voice actor who has contributed to several Need for Speed video games. For more than two decades, Johnson was the voice-over or looping group on several Dick Wolf episodes, including all of the Law & Order and Chicago series.

Harry Johnson: Star of the famous Harry & Louise advertisement 

He also acted in films such as Real Genius, Warlock, and The Spitfire Grill, as well as various TV films, most notably Time Warp, in which he co-starred with Batman veteran Adam West. Johnson famously played Harry in a series of Harry & Louise TV and radio commercials against President Bill Clinton's health-care proposal in 1993-94.

The Health Insurance Association of America funded the advertising, which was so popular (one famous slogan was 'If you let the government choose, we lose') that the Democratic National Committee later produced response ads.

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In 2000 and 2004, Johnson and Louise Claire Clark reprised their roles in election-year ads.

Johnson went on to write books under the pen name Harry Castle. His debut novel, Fugitive Romance, the Fictional Memoir of a Hollywood Screenwriter, was published in 2013, while his second book, Miracles & Misfits, was a collection of short stories.

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Johnson's wife told Deadline that he loved to sail and was well-known among co-workers for his humour and habit of bringing a lightness to settings, making work enjoyable. Johnson is survived by his stepchildren Oliver and Penelope, as well as his wife of 15 years, Christiane.

(with inputs from ANI)

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Published January 5th, 2024 at 16:19 IST

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