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Wilbert Charles "Wil" Johnson (born April 18, 1965) is an English actor, who has had notable television roles in Waking the Dead and Babyfather, and on stage in Othello. He played Dom Andrews in Emmerdale from 2012 to 2014.

Early life Edit

Johnson was born in Muswell Hill, London, and raised in Tottenham. His mother invested in stocks and his father worked for UPS. Johnson had no interest in music while he was in primary school, but after he filled in a role for an absent drummer, he changed his mind. He did not go to drama school, but instead went to Mount View in Crouch End. He also joined another drama group at 'The Haringey Theatre'. He also went to a dance group and learned ballet, contemporary dancing, and break dancing, which he performed for about seven years. He also attended National Youth Theatre for three years.

Personal life Edit

Johnson has seven children. His eldest daughter lives in New York City, while she attends the Manhattan School of Music.

Johnson was previously married to model and writer Alexandra Spiegel from 2001 to 2010, with whom he shares four of his children: step-daughter Mischa, son Joachim River (JJ), and twin daughters Rain and Zillah-May.

Johnson married his girlfriend, Camilla Johnson, on 4 December 2014.


Johnson's first professional acting role came in the play Four Seasons at the 1985 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For the rest of the 1980s he made minor appearances in television series such as Casualty and London's Burning, before playing detective Stevie Johnson in the London Weekend Television series Anna Lee. From 1994 to 1995 he played the supporting role of Detective Constable Michael Skelton in Cracker. Between roles, Johnson worked for a local undertakers, driving the hearse and acting as a pallbearer. At one funeral, a mourner recognized him from Cracker and asked for his autograph.

In 2000, he appeared in the BBC One television pilot Waking the Dead, as Detective Sergeant Spencer Jordan, a member of a specialized police unit tasked with investigating "cold cases". Waking the Dead returned for a complete series in 2001, and Johnson has been a main cast member since, until the series ended in 2011. From 2000 to 2002, he appeared as Steve Robinson in Paul Abbott's popular drama series Clocking Off. From 2001 to 2002, he appeared as a main cast member in two series of the BBC's Babyfather.

In 2004, Johnson played the title character in the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company's Othello.

He also played Marcus Kirby in the BBC One school-based drama Waterloo Road. He departed in the second half of series.

In 2010, he appeared in In a Better World (film) as 'Dr. Najeeb'.

He also performed in a play, called ‘The Swallowing Dark’ at the Liverpool Playhouse and Theatre 503. In 2011, he also starred as gangster boss Big Mike in Anuvahood and in 2008 as Big Man in Adulthood.

In Nov 2011, Johnson appeared as 'Sean Dolan' a Consultant paediatrician in BBC One's Holby City.

In 2012 it was announced that Johnson would be joining Emmerdale as single father Dominic "Dom" Andrews in the later part of the year. On 23 February 2014, it was announced that he would be leaving the show later this year following the death of his character's daughter, Gemma (Tendai Rinomhota).

In 2013, he appeared as an gangster in a film thriller called Life Outside.[6] He also was a special guest DJ at a 'MonologueSlam' event (actors showcase) at 'The Green Carnation' cocktail lounge, Soho.

In 2013, he also co-produced with Christian Ashaiku a film called "Disorientated Generation" (about a Nigerian man living in London). The film was partially funded by Enfield Council,[1] with a small grant from UK Film Council. The film was originally shot in 2006.

In 2016, Johnson was cast as the Earl of Kent in the Talawa Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Manchester co-production of King Lear.[10] Johnson received praise for his performance, with the Guardian writing "giving depth to straight simplicity"[11] and the Manchester Theatre Awards saying that "... wrongest servant Kent is played with passion and often with humour by Wil Johnson".

He is an advocate of colour-blind casting in British television:

There are a lot more black and Asian actors who the nation knows by name, which is fantastic [...] [Colour-blind casting] happens regularly in theatre, but in mainstream television it could be implemented a lot more. I'm tentative to use the word 'stereotyping', because a lot of the black roles emerging on television I wouldn't categorise as stereotypical: my role in Waking the Dead certainly wasn't.
— Wil Johnson

He was recently cast to play the role of Joe Abernathy for Season Three of the Starz Outlander TV Series.[1]


Year Movie Character
1996 Go West Young Man (Short) Voice
1999 A Woman Scorned (Short) The Man
Native (Short) Tyrone
2001 South West 9 Freddy
2002 f2point8 (Short) Rob
2003 Emotional Backgammon John
2004 Yes Virgil
2005 Franklin Haywire (Short) Paul
2007 Deadmeat Barry
2008 Adulthood Big Man
2009 Colour Blind (Short) Dan
Stick with Me (Short) Voice
Disoriented Generation Ishmael
2010 Pimp Byron
In a Better World Najeeb
2011 Anuvahood Mike
2012 Black Smoke Rising Simon
Dead End Carl Foster
Throw of a Dice Duncan Beckford
Amina Dr. Johnson
2013 Fedz Trevor McBride
Dumar Emmerson
2015 Dumar Volume Two Emmerson


Year Title Role
1987 Casualty Paul
1988 London's Burning Junior
1989 Dramarama Kevin
1993 Mr Don & Mr George
1994 Anna Lee Stevie Johnson
1994-1995 Cracker D.C. Skelton
1990-1997 The Bill Billy Elizee / Thomas Gadiki / Carl Paston /Dom Reeves
1998 Babymother (TV Movie) Byron - her Babyfather
2001 Babyfather Beres
Buried Treasure (TV Movie) Luke
2000-2002 Clocking Off Steve Robinson
2011 Washed Up (TV Movie) Mitchell Barlow
2010-2011 Waterloo Road Marcus Kirby
2000-2011 Waking the Dead DI Spencer Jordan / DS Spencer Jordan
2011-2013 Holby City Sean Dolan
2013 Killing All the Flies (TV Movie) Jonathan Edwards
2013-2014 Emmerdale Dominic Andrews / Dom Andrews
2014 Moving On Peter Jackson
2015 Inspector Lewis Dax Kinneson
2016 The Five Young Ray
2017 Outlander Joe Abernathy



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