Martin Johnson was born in 1970 in Solihull, England. His father was a professional rugby player and his mother was a schoolteacher. He has two older sisters. He was educated at Solihull School and then at the University of Leicester, where he studied economics.
Johnson began his rugby career playing for Leicester Tigers in 1987. He quickly established himself as a key player for the team, and was part of the side that won the Premiership title in 1995 and 1997. He also played for England at international level, and was part of the team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
After retiring from playing rugby in 2011, Johnson took up a role as director of rugby at Leicester Tigers. He left the club in 2017, and is currently working as a television pundit.
Johnson has been married twice. His first marriage, to Kay Newcombe, ended in divorce. He has three children from his second marriage, to Elizabeth Johnson.
Johnson is 6ft 6in tall and weighs 18st. He has dark hair and blue eyes.
I'm a sucker for entertainment and escapism as much as the next person. I like silly and lowbrow stuff, but I get nervous when I indulge in that too often. I want to know what's going on in the world. I have a morbid fear of being surprised by bad news. I want to anticipate everything.
[on reality TV] Those shows could have the potential of drawing out the human condition, but they are shallow and have no interest in that. It's all about self-aggrandizement and people who are hopelessly self-centered.They make no attempt to connect with other people. They just proclaim and glorify the self.
I love watching Marty Scorsese's films, but they always make me feel terrible about being a man.
I'm always looking for something that tells me a little bit about what it means to be human. That's how I measure the success of any artistic endeavor.
When you are raised Catholic there is one thing that you are confronted with at a young age, and that's death. You're confronted with all the big issues - and that sparks deep questions, like what the hell are we doing here anyway?
Hal and I are close friends. I understand his language, his humor, his film language, what he is trying to say. I tell actors who are new to Hal--this is more like dance. It's not acting naturalistically, it's carefully choreographed. Gestures are important and specific gestures are very important. -- On Writer/Director Hal Hartley
Born Martin Paul Smith, one of four children, in Reseda, California. He was raised Catholic, and has Irish and German ancestry.
Attended Los Angeles Pierce College for 2 years, then the American Theater Arts, a combined conservatory and theater company in Los Angeles.
Has two sons with actress/wife Vivian Lanko. They lived in New York City for many years before relocating to Vancouver, Canada.
Has enjoyed a long, valued association with writer/director Hal Hartley, starring in several of his films including Simple Men (1992) and Amateur (1994), both of which were selected for the Cannes Film Festivals, Trust (1990), Surviving Desire (1992), Flirt (1995) and The Book of Life (1998), the last mentioned being shown at the New York Film Festival.