Brad Johnson, Actor in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Always’ & Former Marlboro Man, Dead at 62

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Brad Johnson
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Brad Johnson, best known for his role in Steven Spielberg's romantic drama Always, has died. He was 62.

Johnson died on Feb. 18, in Forth Worth, Texas, due to complications from COVID-19, ET has learned.

According to his obituary, penned by his family, Johnson "was a true renaissance man. He was not only interested in all life had to offer, but was gifted in it as well. Although he was taken too early, he lived life to the fullest."

"The son of a horse trainer, Brad grew up with a passion and love for the outdoors, and his younger years would see him hunting and competing in rodeo whenever he had the chance," his obituary recalled. "Brad started his professional rodeo career in 1984, and the circuit would lead him to Dallas, Texas, where he would meet the love of his life, Laurie. They were married for 35 very full years."

While working the rodeo circuit, he attracted the attention of commercial talent scouts and started booking work, soon becoming the Marlboro Man for a period of time.

Johnson's first big acting role, after some uncredited appearances, came in Spielberg's 1989 drama Always, where he acted opposite Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss. 

Additional notable film roles include Flight of the Intruder, Philadelphia Experiment II, The Birds II: Land's End, Rough Riders, the Left Behind series, Riverworld, and Copperhead, among several others.

Amid his acting, Johnson also spent his free time living life out in nature in ranches in New Mexico, Colorado, and North Texas, while also working on restoring Model 1886 Winchester Rifles.

"As much as he loved cowboying and the outdoors, Brad loved nothing more than his family. He put them before himself in every way and they know that they could not have been blessed with a better husband and father," his obituary shared. "From life in the professional rodeo circuit, to a career on the big screen, to hunting bear and caribou in Alaska, to finishing his time selling ranch real estate in the rolling hills of North Texas that he loved, Brad truly seized and embraced all different paths of life. His wife and children will always cherish the memories that he gifted to them. He was larger than life. Brad was loved by many and loved people back, a genuine friend, trusted colleague, and a dedicated husband and father, he will never be forgotten, and his legacy will go on."

He is survived by his wife and their eight children.

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