Suddenly Resurgent Don Johnson Puts Back On His 'Miami Vice'

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default Suddenly Resurgent Don Johnson Puts Back On His 'Miami Vice'

Post by kane on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:28 am

Suddenly Resurgent Don Johnson Puts Back On His 'Miami Vice' Blazer
By Tara Ariano | Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 11:25

It's impossible to know which star of yesteryear the entertainment industry is going to pluck from near-retirement and restore to contemporary relevance. But if you're handicapping those campaigning to be the next Betty White, a new contender has emerged this week: Don Johnson.

To describe the state of Johnson's career as "near-retirement" is a bit of an exaggeration. Though he has never been as famous as he was when he played Sonny Crockett on "Miami Vice," his tenure as the titular protagonist of "Nash Bridges" was nearly as long.

Since then, Johnson's been a regular on The WB's short-lived "Just Legal" series opposite a then little-known Jay Baruchel. He's also starred in several films -- two this year alone, in fact. Over the summer he played a vigilante in Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" (a spin-off from "Grind House"). And earlier this year he played the father to Kristen Bell's character in "When In Rome" (similarly, the aforementioned Betty White played Bell's grandmother this fall in "You Again").

As far as TV is concerned, Johnson has a long way to go if he wants to match White's 2010 career revival: She's cameoed on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and the Emmy telecast, guest-starred on "The Middle" and "Community," and headlined TV Land's first original sitcom, "Hot in Cleveland." But this week, in choosing the pivotal role of Kenny Powers's (Danny McBride) estranged father Eduardo Sanchez on HBO's buzzy sitcom "Eastbound & Down" for his return to TV, Johnson may eclipse White in TV comedy cred.

[Related: Don Johnson Awarded Millions in Odd Suit]

White's rise to prominence this year has also included her role in a memorable Snickers TV spot, which first aired during the Super Bowl and subsequently went viral online. Once more, Johnson has followed the White playbook by appearing opposite LeBron James in this Nike ad, the message of which is already being debated on the Internet. Public sentiment about James's defection from the Cleveland Cavaliers aside, nostalgic viewers will be tickled by Johnson's cameo: He briefly reprises his "Miami Vice" character Sonny Crockett, wearing the pastel-blazer-and-t-shirt ensemble he made mandatory for fashionably unshaven men in the '80s.

Don Johnson can't borrow all of Betty White's tricks -- double entendres aren't quite as adorable coming out of a rugged sexagenarian man as they are when uttered by a twinkly octogenarian woman. But Johnson is still alarmingly handsome -- he barely looks any older twenty years after "Miami Vice"-- and there's no reason Hollywood shouldn't put him back in the same casting pool as Kurt Russell, Harrison Ford, or Johnson's "Tin Cup" co-star Kevin Costner. If anyone is developing another "Old Dogs" or "Wild Hogs"-type project, Johnson would be perfect -- and if it has a randy old-lady neighbor role, I think we all know an actress who'd be interested.


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