Van Johnson was born on August 25, 1916 in Newport, Rhode Island. In high school he trained as a musician and dancer, and after graduation he moved to New York and made his Broadway debut in New Faces of 1936. Shortly afterward, he traveled to Hollywood with his friend, Desi Arnaz. Arnaz's wife, Lucille Ball, introduced Johnson to casting directors, and he established himself in popular movies such as The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942) and A Guy Named Joe (1943); he was also featured in the Dr. Kildaire film series. In 1943, he suffered a near-fatal car accident and had to have a metal plate fitted in his skull. In the 1950s, Johnson starred in blockbuster movies such as Brigadoon (1954), The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) and The Caine Mutiny (1954). He was married to actress Eve Abbott; the marriage caused a scandal because Johnson married Abbott within four hours of her divorce from his closest friend, actor Keenan Wynn. The marriage lasted until 1962, and the couple had one daughter. Van Johnson continued to perform until the 1990s. He died on December 12, 2008.