Don Johnson Still Making Waves Almost Thirty Years After “Miami Vice” Debut

By | August 1, 2014

The spirit of Sonny Crockett is alive and well at the cutting edge of Hollywood and society.

Don Johnson, 1986.  (Photo attribution:  "Don Johnson" by PH1 DOTY - Defense Visual Information Center photo ID DN-SC-87-03213. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Don Johnson, 1986. (Photo attribution: “Don Johnson” by PH1 DOTY – Defense Visual Information Center photo ID DN-SC-87-03213. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

Almost 30 years ago, in 1984, Don Johnson finally got the television break he had been looking for when NBC gave the green light to “Miami Vice”. The smash hit launched Johnson into the entertainment stratosphere and a subsequent string of television and movie hits. True to his brash and groundbreaking turn as undercover detective Sonny Crockett, Johnson continues to lead the way creatively and, as usual, is never shy with an opinion. Johnson has recently weighed in on college football, legalizing drugs, and “Fifty Shades of Grey”, a super hot, sexy movie starring his daughter, Dakota Johnson. has reported that Johnson has written a sports drama called “Score” which may be filmed in the very near future. He has said that the subject matter concerns college football in the 1980s and he will play a corrupt coach out for all he can get. Hard core “Miami Vice” fans will remember that the Sonny Crockett character played college football at Florida State as a wide receiver and ran a 70 yard screen pass in for a touchdown in the Gator Bowl. At least, that is the way I remember it. Raise both hands over your head in a referee’s touchdown signal if you remember this obscure tidbit. Man, that was a long time ago.

In somewhat of a departure from Sonny Crockett’s core values, Johnson has recently told that he supports the legalization and taxation of all drugs, including heroin, because that will remove the criminal element. Does this sound like one of the many episodes of “Miami Vice” in which Crockett flew too close to the sun, confused, overwrought, depressed, but trying to ultimately do the right thing, only to be pulled back from a wing-melting crash at the last moment by the ever trusty and level headed partner, Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas?

But, hey, who can blame him anyway considering his daughter, Dakota Johnson, is set for a break-out starring role in the very juicy big screen envelope-pusher “Fifty Shades of Grey”. You may have seen her in “The Social Network” as a one-night standing coed entertaining Justin Timberlake’s character, Sean Parker. Johnson seemed less than sanguine about the role, calling it a “blip” in But Johnson is probably more prepared than most dads for this kind of jolt considering he survived his early years in Hollywood on little more than wits, charm and good looks until being cast in the Michael Mann pilot that finally put him over the top, the incredible, legendary, “Miami Vice”. Surf’s up.

This article was originally published in Yahoo! Voices on June 26, 2014.

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