Van Johnson, a popular Hollywood star in the ’40s and ’50s with such films as “30 Seconds over Tokyo,” “A Guy Named Joe” and “The Caine Mutiny,” was born on August 25, 1916 in Newport, RI.

He was born Charles Van Dell Johnson on Aug. 25, 1916, in Newport, R.I., where his father was a real estate salesman. From his earliest years he was fascinated by the touring companies that played in Newport theaters, and after high school he announced his intention to try his luck in New York. He arrived in 1934 with $5 and his belongings packed in a straw suitcase.

Van Johnson and Judy Garland in “In the Good Old Summertime”
Van Johnson and Judy Garland in “In the Good Old Summertime”

Johnson became a popular Hollywood star in MGM movies during the World War II years with such films as Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, A Guy Named Joe and The Human Comedy.

Johnson starred opposite Esther Williams, June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor and others during his two decades under contract to MGM.

He proved to be a versatile actor, equally at home with comedies (“The Bride Goes Wild,” “Too Young to Kiss”), war movies (“Go for Broke,” “Command Decision”), musicals (“Thrill of a Romance,” “Brigadoon”) and dramas (“State of the Union,” “Madame Curie”).

Johnson died in December 2008 at the age of 92 in New York.

 

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.

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