Clark Johnson, born September 10, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, is a motion picture actor, director and producer. He is a director and cast member of The Wire. He directed the series pilot "The Target" and other episodes before joining the starring cast as Gus Haynes in the fifth season. He had also worked with The Wire creator David Simon on his earlier series Homicide: Life on the Street playing Detective Meldrick Lewis and directing episodes. He is sometimes credited as "Clark 'Slappy' Jackson", "Clarque Johnson", and "J. Clark Johnson."


Early years

Johnson was born in September 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent much of his life in Canada, including studying at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

He began doing feature film work in 1981, landing roles in the movies Killing 'em Softly, Colors, Wild Thing, Adventures in Babysitting, and Nowhere to Hide. He also acted in a number of television shows early in his career, including Night Heat and Hot Shots.

Homicide: Life on the Street

In 1993, Johnson became part of the original starring cast of the television series Homicide: Life on the Street playing Detective Meldrick Lewis for all seven seasons and the reunion movie, as well as directing several episodes. Though the ensemble nature of the show meant that Johnson always filled an important role in the series, he became an even larger presence after his character was paired with a new partner, Mike Kellerman (played by Reed Diamond). The two detectives became the central figures in a plot line surrounding a Baltimore drug lord whose financial resources and front as a devoted community servant made it nearly impossible for the police department to bring him up on charges. Johnson made the transition to director with the season four episode "Map of the Heart".[1][2] He also directed "Betrayal",[3] "Valentine's Day",[4] "Full Court Press"[5] and "The Twenty Percent Solution".[6] Author of the novel Homicide was based upon, teleplay writer and producer David Simon commented that the transition from actor to director was made easy by Johnson's familiarity with the show and that he was one of the better directors in terms of keeping the tone of the show consistent.[2]

The Wire

Johnson also worked on The Wire, reuniting him with Simon. For The Wire Johnson directed both the show's pilot[7][8] and second episode[9][10] ("The Target" and "The Detail") and finale. He appeared as a series regular in the fifth and final season playing Gus Haynes.[11]


Johnson's other directing credits include the big-screen releases The Sentinel (2006) and S.W.A.T. (2003), and episodes of Third Watch and The Shield. He helmed and acted in the HBO original production Boycott (2001). He also directed the first episodes of the first and second seasons of the 2005 series Sleeper Cell.

Personal life

Johnson is the brother of jazz singer Molly Johnson and actress and singer Taborah Johnson.




  • The Wire TV series (2002-2008)
  • Sleeper Cell TV series (2005-2006)
    • Episode "Al-Faitha" (2005)
    • Episode "Al-Bagara" (2006)
  • The Sentinel (2006)
  • N.Y.-70 (2005)
  • The Jury (2004)
    • "Lamentation on the Reservation" (2004)
  • The Shield TV series (2002-2004)
    • Episode "Pilot" (2002)
    • Episode "The Spread" (2002)
    • Episode "Blowback" (2002)
    • Episode "Playing Tight" (2004)
    • Episode "Blood and Water" (2004)
  • The Secret Service (2004)
  • S.W.A.T. (2003)
  • Boycott (2001)
  • NYPD Blue TV series (2000)
    • Episode "Lucky Luciano" (2000)
  • The West Wing TV series (2000)
    • Episode "Six Meetings Before Lunch" (2000)
  • The Beat TV series (2000)
  • Third Watch TV series (2000)
    • Episode "Nature or Nurture?" (2000)
  • City of Angels TV series (2000)
  • The City TV series (2000)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit TV series (1999)
    • Episode "Sophomore Jinx" (1999)
  • Homicide: Life on the Street TV series (1996-1998)
    • Episode "Map of the Heart" (1996)
    • Episode "Betrayal" (1997)
    • Episode "Valentine's Day" (1997)
    • Episode "Betrayal" (1998)
    • Episode "Map of the Heart" (1998)
  • Welcome to Paradox TV series (1998)
  • La Femme Nikita TV series (1998)
  • Fast Track TV series (1997)



Season 1 credits
"The Target" "The Detail" "The Buys" "Old Cases" "The Pager"
The Wire" "One Arrest" "Lessons" "Game Day" "The Cost"
"The Hunt" "Cleaning Up" "Sentencing"
Season 5 credits
"More with Less" "Unconfirmed Reports" "Not for Attribution" "Transitions" "React Quotes"
"The Dickensian Aspect" "Took" "Clarifications" "Late Editions" "-30-"


Season 5 credits
"More with Less" "Unconfirmed Reports" "Not for Attribution" "Transitions" "React Quotes"
"The Dickensian Aspect" "Took" "Clarifications" "Late Editions" "-30-"


  1. "Map of the Heart". Clark Johnson, Writ. James Yoshimura, Michael Whaley. Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC. 1996-04-26. No. 19, season 4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 David Simon. (1998). 'Homicide: Life on the Street season 4 interviews [DVD]. NBC.
  3. "Betrayal". Clark Johnson, Writ. Tom Fontana, Julie Martin, Gay Walch. Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC. 1997-01-10. No. 12, season 5.
  4. "Valentine's Day". Clark Johnson, Writ. Tom Fontana. Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC. 1997-02-14. No. 16, season 5.
  5. "Full Court Press". Clark Johnson, Writ. David Simon, Philip B. Epstein. Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC. 1998-04-03. No. 18, season 6.
  6. "The Twenty Percent Solution". Clark Johnson, Writ. David Simon. Homicide: Life on the Street. NBC. 1998-10-30. No. 04, season 7.
  7. Episode guide - episode 01 The Target. HBO (2004). Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
  8. "The Target". David Simon, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2002-06-02. No. 1, season 1.
  9. Episode guide - episode 02 The Detail. HBO (2004). Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
  10. "The Detail". David Simon, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2002-06-09. No. 2, season 1.
  11. Wiltz, Teresa (September 3, 2001). Down to "The Wire": It's a Wrap for Gritty TV Series. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-09-03.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.