Paul Joseph Otto Johansson (born January 26, 1964) is an American-Canadian actor, writer and director, best known for playing Dan Scott on the WB/CW television series, One Tree Hill, and for his role as Nick Wolfe on the short lived Highlander: The Series spin-off Highlander: The Raven. He directed the film version of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged: Part I.
Paul Johansson was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of ice hockey player Earl Johnson, but raised in Kelowna, B.C. He was an athlete like his father and played for the Canadian Olympic Basketball Team and for the University of British Columbia. After quitting basketball he began writing, which in turn led to acting.
Johansson landed his first role on the popular soap opera Santa Barbara. He played Greg Hughes from 1989 to 1990. Soon he made appearances in other television shows such as Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Lonesome Dove.
Johansson became well-known to fans of 90210 for playing John Sears, a fraternity brother who unsuccessfully vied for the affections of Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and set up Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) to burglarize a professor’s office. Sears was later blackballed from the fraternity for the incident. Johnasson’s character did not return until the season 4 finale, where he attempted to humiliate Steve at every turn, only to be brought down by Steve’s friends Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) and Donna Martin (Tori Spelling).
He also appeared in commercials, most notably as the delivery man in a Diet Coke commercial. He has appeared in the films Soapdish, John Q and Alpha Dog and had a small role in The Notebook. From 1995 to 1996, Johnansson appeared on Days of our Lives in the recurring role of Wyatt St. Clair, the brother of the evil Jude St. Clair. He subsequently featured in Takashi Miike’s 2003 film Gozu, appearing as a man with a cow’s head. In 2003 Johansson wrote and directed the film The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie. He has also directed several episodes of One Tree Hill. In 2006 he starred in Emily Skopov’s Novel Romance, alongside Traci Lords and Sherilyn Fenn. He appeared in the 7th season of The Drew Carey Show, playing a sportscaster.
He is the director of Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011), the first third of a proposed trilogy based on the novel by Ayn Rand. The film received a “13% Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that only five of thirty-nine reviewers liked it.
Johansson’s ex-wife is actress Gabriela Oltean.
His mother, Joanne Leone Johansson, died on October 14, 2011, after a 20-year battle with breast cancer. Season 9, episode 11 of the CW’s One Tree Hill (titled “Danny Boy”, in which Paul’s character Dan Scott dies) was dedicated to her memory. “Obituary: Joanne Leone Johansson”. Newspaper. Vancouver Sun and/or The Province.. His brother Pete Johansson is a well known Comedian, Writer and Actor currently living in London, England.