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Iowa History Daily: August 15 - Georgann Johnson

Iowa History Daily: On August 15, 1926, actress Georgann Johnson was born in Decorah, Iowa. Known for her roles on the stage, on television, and in the movies, Johnson shined in productions including “Midnight Cowboy” and “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.”

Growing up in Winneshiek County, Johnson’s father owned Peter Johnson & Son Plumbing and Heating on Decorah’s Washington Street. After high school, Georgann Johnson earned her BA from Luther College before obtaining a Master of Arts in Oratory from Northwestern University. In 1952, Johnson decided to give a shot at realizing her dream of acting professionally.

Cast alongside her future husband Stanley Prager in the Broadway revival of “Room Service,” while also appearing in other productions across the 1950s and 1960s including “Critic's Choice” (1960), “Drink to Me Only” (1958), and “Reclining Figure” (1954). Johnson’s poise and stand-out performances caught the attention of filmmakers by the late 1950s, leading to a career on the silver screen including credits for “Short Cut to Hell” (1957), “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” (1973), “Health” (1980), “The Day After” (1983), “The Slugger's Wife” (1985), “Murphy's Romance” (1985) and “Quicksilver” (1986).

Johnson also found success on television. After several guest spots on programs like “Another World,” “Somerset,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “As the World Turns,” the lead on “The Trails of Rosie O’Neill” cemented her place as a leading lady. In November 1993, Johnson took over the role of Mrs. Elizabeth Quinn on the CBS Series, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” during its second season. She continued in the role for the remainder of the series and several made-for-TV movies. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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