Georgann Johnson, Actress on ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,’ Dies at 91

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Georgann Johnson, the veteran film, television and Broadway actress who portrayed the mother of Jane Seymour’s character on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, died June 4 in Los Angeles, daughter Carol Prager announced. She was 91.

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Johnson, who spent 60 years in show business, had another regular role as the title character’s mom on an earlier CBS drama, The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, starring Sharon Gless, and she played Jack Tripper’s (John Ritter) mother on an episode of ABC’s Three’s Company.

 

In the 1950s, the Iowa native worked alongside James Dean and Paul Newman on the anthology series Campbell Summer Soundstage and The United States Steel Hour, respectively, and portrayed the wife of a smart-aleck high school history teacher (Tony Randall) on the NBC sitcom Mr. Peepers, starring Wally Cox.

 

She starred as the kidnapped girlfriend of a cop in Short Cut to Hell (1957), the only feature directed by James Cagney, and appeared as the rich woman who encounters Jon Voight’s Joe Buck on Park Avenue in the best picture Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy (1969).

 

Her film résumé also included roles in Robert Altman’s HealtH (1980), Michael Crichton’s Looker (1981), Alan Parker’s Shoot the Moon (1982), Hal Ashby’s The Slugger’s Wife (1985) and Blake Edwards’ Blind Date (1987).

 

Johnson was married to actor-director Stanley Prager (Prez in the original Broadway production of The Pajama Game) from 1956 until his death in 1972. They met when they appeared together in a 1953 Broadway revival of Room Service, featuring Jack Lemmon.

 

Johnson also played a menacing princess on the DuMont series Captain Video and His Video Rangers and went on to appear on dozens of other shows, including DangerThe MillionaireAlfred Hitchcock PresentsDr. KildareThe FugitiveThe JeffersonsWiseguySt. ElsewhereOur Family Honor, SeinfeldStar Trek: The Next Generation and Cold Case.

 

On soap operas, she portrayed Ellen Grant on Another World and its spinoff, Somerset, and worked on The DoctorsAs the World Turns and All My Children as well.

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Johnson also was married to Jack Tenner, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, from 1981 until his death in 2008. Survivors include her four daughters with Prager — Carol, Annie, Sally and Molly — and grandchildren Hannah, Gabriel and Caroline.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  IMDB
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