Who Was….UMD Alum and Tony nominee Bill “Bing” Johnson?

As the 1945 alumni magazine article below attests, Bill “Bing” Johnson (’36) was an extremely talented individual.  An engineering major from Baltimore, Johnson’s first love was performance, and he was a notable member of the university’s dramatics group, the Footlight Club.  He starred on both stage and screen, though he was better known for his Broadway performances, garnering a Tony nomination for the role of “Doc” in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final musical, 1955-1956’s “Pipe Dream,” based on a John Steinbeck novel. Johnson was also a charter member of the Broadway Show League, a softball league full of Broadway stars and staffers organized in 1955.  Johnson died suddenly of a heart attack in March of 1957, and the BSL created its first-ever MVP award in his name.


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