Van Johnson passed away yesterday of natural causes at the age of 92. While Johnson was never an iconic actor by any stretch of the imagination, it is still a shame to hear of his death. He hit his big break at MGM thanks to the help of friend Lucille Ball (of "I Love Lucy" fame, of course) and is probably best-known for the films he made for them during and just after World War II, playing the boy-next-door type in "Somewhere I'll Find You," "A Guy Named Joe," "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," and "Week-End at the Waldorf." After being dropped by MGM in 1954 after "The Last Time I Saw Paris" with Elizabeth Taylor, he scored great critical acclaim with Columbia Pictures' "The Caine Mutiny," starring Humphrey Bogart. In later years, Johnson continued to act some, including making appearances on television shows and playing a small role in Woody Allen's 1985 "The Purple Rose of Cairo." His last role was in the 1992 film "Clowning Around."
Van Johnson, we will miss you.
For a more in-depth read on the life of this late actor, see the New York Times obituary.