MEL JOHNSON JR.
Actor | Director | Producer
Though easily recognizable from his TOTAL RECALL co-starring role opposite ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Mel is equally comfortable these days discussing the production of his new one man show "Frederick Douglass In The Shadow Of Slavery" which recently had its extremely successful world premiere in California at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, and he is discussing his work with such companies as Goldman Sachs, American Express and Credit Suisse as a corporate councilor.
While living in Los Angeles, Mel was the Executive Producer of Shadow Entertainment's Urban Horror label "Big City Pictures," he produced four feature films "Ragdoll," "The Horrible Dr. Bones," "Killjoy" and "The Vault" - All of which can be found on video. Mel was also the Artistic Director of The Imagination Workshop, a group of actors, writers, and directors who work within the psychiatric community and with kids at risk. He's extremely proud of the fact that during his tenure as Artistic Director, The Imagination workshop won the first Ovation Award given to a company for "Outstanding Community Outreach."
Mel has countless credits from a resume that reflects his work on stage, screen and television. As a theater director, his work is best embodied by the award-winning "Give'em Hell Harry" starring JASON ALEXANDER, "Oscar To Oscar," "The Me Nobody Knows," "The Ballad of Lizard Gulch" and the critically acclaimed "The Last White Man in the World." Most recently, he directed the World Premiere of Tom Dugan's one man show "Robert E Lee, Shades of Gray" at the Carpenter Center in Richmond, Virginia.
When his acting career is mentioned, Mel finds it difficult to point to his most significant work, but can quickly identify the roles that gave him the most pleasure. In addition to his film work, the list includes Broadway stints in "On The Twentieth Century," "Eubie!" with Maurice and Gregory Hines, "The Rink" with Liza Minnelli, and Chita Rivera. Bob Fosse's "Big Deal," Mufasa in "The Lion King" and most recently starring in the new Earth, Wind and Fire musical, "Hot Feet!" Mel would be remiss if he didn't mention his long-standing relationship with The New York Shakespeare Festival, where he most recently starred in the revival of the musical "Two Gentleman Of Verona" for the festival's, Shakespeare In The Park. On television, he was a regular on David Lynch's "On The Air" and guest starred on numerous other T.V. shows from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" to "The Pratice."
Mel has always found it extremely rewarding sharing with others what he has learned from his education, at the High School of Performing Arts and Hofstra University and his vast life experience. He has taught classes in both New York and Los Angeles, coached individually and spoken with numerous schools, colleges and community organizations around the country. MEL JOHNSON JR. is as excited about his future as he is proud of his past accomplishments.