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Harry Johnson, an actor with credits ranging from the original `Battlestar Galactica` to `Buffy the Vampire Slayer,` various Dick Wolf programmes, and the famed `Harry & Louise` ads, died on January 2 in Los Angeles after a protracted illness, Deadline reported. He was 81. Christiane, his wife, confirmed his death to Deadline.

Born on December 27, 1942, in Plainfield, New Jersey, he was known as Chip Johnson in the 1970s and 1980s and was one of Universal Studios` final contract performers. Johnson began his screen career with the multi-part pilot episode of `Battlestar Galactica` in 1978 and went on to guest-star on dozens of TV series, including `M*A*S*H,` `Quincy M.E.`, `The Incredible Hulk,` `Simon & Simon,` `The Greatest American Hero`, `Highway to Heaven,` `The A-Team,` `Who`s the Boss?,` `Thirtysomething,` `Melrose Place,` `Party of Five,` `Days of Our Lives` and `Buffy the Vampire Slayer.`

He was a prominent ADR voice actor who has contributed to several Need for Speed video games. For more than two decades, Johnson was the voice-over or looping group on several Dick Wolf episodes, including all of the `Law & Order` and `Chicago` series. He also acted in films such as `Real Genius,` `Warlock,` and `The Spitfire Grill,` as well as various TV films, most notably `Time Warp,` in which he co-starred with Batman veteran Adam West.

Johnson famously played Harry in a series of `Harry & Louise` TV and radio commercials against President Bill Clinton`s health-care proposal in 1993-94. The Health Insurance Association of America funded the advertising, which was so popular (one famous slogan was `If you let the government choose, we lose`) that the Democratic National Committee later produced response ads. In 2000 and 2004, Johnson and Louise Claire Clark reprised their roles in election-year ads.

Harry and Louise reappeared in an ad that aired at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and again the following year, this time for a commercial promoting President Barack Obama`s new health-care proposal. The commercials were imitated during the 2006 Oscars broadcast, featuring a voiceover by Stephen Colbert, then-host of The Colbert Report.

Johnson went on to write books under the pen name Harry Castle. His debut novel, `Fugitive Romance`, the Fictional Memoir of a Hollywood Screenwriter, was published in 2013, while his second book, `Miracles & Misfits,` was a collection of short stories. Johnson`s wife told Deadline that he loved to sail and was well-known among coworkers for his humor and habit of bringing a lightness to settings, making work enjoyable.

Johnson is survived by his stepchildren Oliver and Penelope, as well as his wife of 15 years, Christiane.

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