Obituaries

Besedka Johnson; had first movie role after turning 85

Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway in a scene from “Starlet.”

Augusta Quirk/Music Box Films via Associated Press

Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway in a scene from “Starlet.”

LOS ANGELES — Besedka Johnson, who became an actress at age 85 and won praise for last year’s movie “Starlet,” has died. She was 87.

Ms. Johnson died April 4 at Glendale Memorial Hospital of complications following surgery for a bacterial infection, her son, Jim, told the Los Angeles Times.

Advertisement

Ms. Johnson played the cranky widow Sadie who befriended Dree Hemingway in last year’s movie. It was her only role.

“Besedka showed that no age is too old to do what you dream. I loved her dearly,’’ Hemingway said in a statement.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Ms. Johnson got the part when an executive producer for the movie saw her in the locker room at a YMCA gym in Los Angeles and asked her to audition.

“I thought it has got to be a great big joke,” Ms. Johnson later said, but “when you’re this old, it’s like, let’s just go along with it and see what happens.”

Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com