Hulking, bald-pated Swedish wrestler who began making film appearances in the 1940s and became a minor cult figure playing mute, mindless killers in a number of schlock horror films, most notably in the films of Edward D. Wood Jr. After years in the ring, Johnson played bits in the Ole Olsen and Chick Johnson comedy "Ghost Catchers" (1944) and the low-budget film noir "Behind Locked Doors" (1948). His first film for Wood was the execrable but, unintentionally, hilarious "Bride of the Monster" (1956), in which he originated the role of the mute, scarred Lobo, a role he reprised in Wood's "Night of the Ghouls" (1959) and in the non-Wood directed "The Unearthly" (1957).
Johnson was rarely ever given any dialogue and never really learned to act. Admittedly he wasn't called on to do much; his physical presence and abilities to stare uncomprehendingly and lumber about menacingly were enough. He did appear in several non-horror films in bit parts ("Carousel" 1956 and "Lady in the Iron Mask" 1952, as the mad executioner who keeps Patricia Medina locked up), but jobs pretty much dried up for Johnson in the 60s. He was accorded one of his largest roles--in one of his worst films, "The Beast of Yucca Flats" (1961)--as a Russian atomic scientist who walks right into an atom bomb blast and assumes the film's title role. The teen comedy "Head" (1968) was one of Johnson's last appearances. He was played, quite appropriately, by wrestler George 'the Animal' Steele in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic, "Ed Wood" (1994).
Cast (Feature Film)
Earliest feature film appearances included a small role in the Ole Olsen-Chick Johnson low-budget comedy for Universal, "Ghost Catchers"
First film for director Edward D. Wood Jr., "Bride of the Monster", in which he first played the role of Lobo
Last appearance as Lobo and last film for Ed Wood, "Night of the Ghouls"
Made one of last feature film appearances in a small role in "Head"
Was played by wrestler-actor George "the Animal" Steele in the feature biopic, "Ed Wood"