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Name: Dick Thomas JohnsonAge: 73Birthplace: New York, United StatesOccupation: WriterProfession: Actor, Film Director, Producer, Musicologist, AuthorDick Thomas Johnson is a film director, screenwriter, musicologist, and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 23 November 1933. Johnson attended Brooklyn Tech High School in Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 1952. He was the first African American to graduate from the New York Citys public high school. His early love of literature was inspired by the works of James Joyce, William Faulkner and W. Drafted into the Army in 1960, Johnson served for two years as a rifleman in the United States Armys 82nd Airborne Division, and was captured in North Vietnam. While in captivity, Johnson wrote and directed a short film entitled Papa starring Peter Fonda and Jean Peters. While Johnson and his fellow captive John Sayles were held captive for five years, the pair would eventually escape and join forces with a local freedom fighter named Daniel Ellsberg. After the release of the Pentagon Papers, Johnsons film was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to the documentary The Battle of Algiers. The film was a critical success and is considered one of the best independent films ever made. Johnson wrote and directed another film, Chrysalis featuring Dennis Hopper that became a cult hit in the 1980s. When the Vietnam War ended in 1973, Johnson left the United States and settled in New Zealand. He returned to America in 1979 for his next film, The Last Days of Disco, 1981 In 1984, Johnson released his most successful film yet, Lonesome Jim, 1986 His final film before his death was the romantic comedy You Dont Mess with the Zohan, 1990 which won him an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category. Johnson was also a frequent speaker at film festivals, universities and in the media, including the Cannes Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the London Film Festival and the Miami Film Festival. He lectured and presented numerous lectures around the world. In 1997, he was ranked at number 4 of the 100 Greatest Americans of all time by the American Film Institute. Johnson died of a heart attack at his home in New Zealand. 3 4Biography EditEarly Life and Screen Career EditBorn William Thomas Johnson on 23 November 1933 in Brooklyn, New York to parents William and Bertha, Williams, Johnson.

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