July 11, 1949
Actor/ventriloquist Jay Johnson is best known for his role on the 1970s hit television comedy "Soap." Born on July 11, 1949, in Richardson, Texas, Johnson was the recipient of beginner's luck: the "Soap" role was his very first television part. Playing the character of Chuck Campbell (who never went anywhere without his trusty dummy, Bob, who served as a mouthpiece for Campbell, saying the things he was too timid to say himself), Johnson appeared in 56 episodes of the often-controversial sitcom from 1977 through 1981. After "Soap," he continued landing roles as an actor and ventriloquist, including a recurring role as a ventriloquist priest on the Nell Carter sitcom "Gimme a Break!." Eventually, Johnson would focus more on acting instead of ventriloquism, including roles on such series as "Broken Badges," in which he played a depressed police officer. He would continue securing roles on television throughout the early 21st century (albeit on a more sporadic basis), although he scored big on Broadway when "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only" opened to rave reviews in 2006, and a year later, brought him a Tony Award.