Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Johansson was an avid athlete like his father, a former NHL player. After playing with the Canadian National basketball team and leading his university to the Canadian College Championship game, he began contemplating a professional career in basketball overseas. Changing gears, however, Paul chose to set his sights on Hollywood.
Making his television debut on the soap opera "Santa Barbara," he soon moved on to a succession of roles in such shows as "Parker Lewis Can't Lose","Beverly Hills, 90210","Lonesome Dove: The Series", "Highlander: The Raven", and "Ed McBain's 87th Precinct". Johansson also made memorable guest appearances in "Dharma and Greg" and "The Drew Carey Show" and had a recurring role in "The District."
On the big screen, Johansson appeared in the feature film "Alpha Dog",opposite Bruce Willis and Justin Timberlake. He also played Sally Field's soap opera husband in the film "Soapdish". His other movie credits include "When the Party's Over","The Big Picture","She's So Lovely","A Wilderness Station", and "Carnival of Souls".
As a filmmaker, Johansson was awarded two Emmys for the feature film "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie", which he both wrote and directed. The film starred Gena Rowlands and James Caan and was produced by Nick Cassavetes. He also wrote and directed the acclaimed 19-minute film short "Conversations in Limbo", which opened the Toronto Short Film Festival. This film was honored at the Nashville Independent Film Festival and ultimately acquired by the Sundance Film Channel.
Work on One Tree Hill
As well as appearing as Dan Scott, Johansson has also directed the following episodes:
- Something I Can Never Have
- Champagne for my Real Friends, Real Pain for my Sham Friends
- When It Isn't Like It Should Be
- Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
- Prom Night at Hater High
- Racing Like a Pro
- Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
- Life Is Short
- Bridge Over Troubled Water
- Letting Go
- You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son
- Family Affair
- Valentine's Day Is Over
- Love The Way You Lie
- Paul was born in the US, but raised in Canada. He has citizenship in both countries.
- Played with the Canadian National Basketball team touring for two years. 1986 in Korea and China and in 1987 to Israel and Greece.
- He is the son of professional hockey player Earl "Ching" Johnson (a member of the 1954 Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Redwings team). Earl went by Johnson when he was playing hockey, but he later changed the family name to Johansson to reflect his Swedish heritage.
- Became good friends with fellow Canadian Jason Priestley when both were scouted in Vancouver and brought to Los Angeles to pursue their careers in showbiz. They went on to work together in "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990), Conversations in Limbo (1998), and Darkness Falling (2003).
- He speaks French.