Paul Joseph Otto Johansson was born on January 26, 1964 in Spokane Washington. The son of ice hockey player Earl Johnson, he was raised in Kelowna, British Columbia. 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’ (1991-1992) as Nick Comstock, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ (1993-1994) as John Sears and ‘Lonesome Dove’ (1994-1995) as ‘Austin Peale’.
He also appeared in commercials, most notably as the delivery man in a Diet Coke commercial. In 2000 he appeared in his only Euro-western “Hooded Angels” as Wes. He has appeared in the films “Soapdish” (1991), “John Q” (2002) and “Alpha Dog” (2006) and had a small role in “The Notebook” (2004). 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 was 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’ (2005-2012). 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’ (2001), 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.