Wallenberg: A Hero's Story (1985) - News Poster

(1985 TV Movie)


Emmy-winning Director Johnson Dies

  • WENN
Emmy Award-winning television and film director Lamont Johnson has died after suffering heart failure. He was 88.

Johnson passed away at his home in Monterey, California on Sunday.

He won critical acclaim for his controversial U.S. television works, including 1970 series My Sweet Charlie, which explored interracial relationships, 1972's That Certain Summer, which took a look at homosexuality, and 1981 series Crisis at Central High, about America's civil rights movement.

He also directed episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel, Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone, Naked City and The Defenders, in addition to helming films including 1973's The Last American Hero, starring Jeff Bridges.

Johnson, who received 11 Emmy nominations during his 40-plus years directing, won in 1986 for his work on Wallenberg: A Hero's Story, a miniseries about Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.

In 1989 he won another Emmy for Gore Vidal's Civil War drama Lincoln, starring Sam Waterston.

Johnson is survived by a son and daughter, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Lamont Johnson, 1922 - 2010

  • MUBI
"Lamont Johnson, an Emmy-winning director who was honored for his work on the TV programs Gore Vidal's Lincoln and Wallenberg: A Hero's Story during a wide-ranging career in television, film and theater, died of congestive heart failure at his Monterey home Sunday," reports Claire Noland for the Los Angeles Times. "Johnson, known for his sensitive treatment of controversial subjects in made-for-tv movies, dealt with interracial romance in My Sweet Charlie (1970), homosexuality in That Certain Summer (1972), blacklisting in Fear on Trial (1975) and the civil rights movement in Crisis at Central High (1981). 'I find a great many things that never make it to the big screen because they're controversial wind up on television, and done with a considerable amount of daring,' Johnson told the Miami Herald in 1992. 'That seems surprising in a medium that's supposed to be timid or anxious.'"
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