Rita Johnson ~ The Abused Alcoholic

 Rita Johnson

Rita Johnson was a popular starlet who was became an alcoholic after being abused

She was born Rita Ann Johnson on August 13, 1913 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father worked for the railroad and her mother ran a lunchroom. When she was a child she developed a speech impediment and had to take elocution lessons. After high school she studied piano at the New England Conservatory of Music. Rita began her career working on the radio. She appeared on Broadway in Fulton Of Oak Falls. In 1937 she was signed by MGM and made her film debut in London By Night. Rita had supporting roles in numerous films including Man-Proof, Broadway Serenade, and Congo Maisie. The blue eyed blonde was five feet, four inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. She had a serious romance with Broderick Crawford. On November 25, 1940 she married F. Stanley Kahn, a stockbroker. They divorced in 1943 and she married Edwin Hutzler. During the 1940s she continued to appear in films like Here Comes Mr. Jordan and The Big Clock.

Rita JohnsonRita Johnson

Although she appeared in more than forty films she never became an A-list star. Her marriage to Edwin ended in 1946. Soon after she began dating a man who became physically abusive. In September of 1948 she suffered severe head trauma that put her in a coma. Doctors had to perform delicate surgery on her brain. Rita claimed a hair dryer fell on her but her family believed that her boyfriend caused her injuries. It would take her more than a year to recover. By the early 1950s her career had stalled and she had developed a drinking problem. Her final film was the 1957 drama All Mine To Give. Then she opened a dress shop in Hollywood. As she got older her health deteriorated due to her alcoholism and she suffered from liver disease. Tragically on October 31, 1964 she died from a brain hemorrhage. She was only fifty-two years old. Rita was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery Culver City in Los Angeles, California. 

Rita JohnsonRita Johnson