The actor, who took home the coveted Best Personality gong at the 59th Logie Awards last night and the Best Actor Logie for his role playing Molly Meldrum in TV mini-series Molly, said his win was unprecedented.
“No actor from a one-off TV event or from a telemovie has ever been nominated for gold before, let alone taken home the bacon,” Johnson said backstage after his win.
The actor set up the cancer charity Love Your Sister on Facebook after his sister Connie was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, and last year said he was quitting acting to fundraise for the charity.
The Gold Logie votes, Johnson believes, came from the charity’s 380,000-strong Facebook following.
“My sisters asked them to vote for me and they did in droves. Facebook has been swinging voting results lately and I think we’re no exception.
“I’m not a TV personality, I’m a Facebook personality.”
He beat The Project host Waleed Aly, Family Feud host Grant Denyer, Doctor Doctor star Rodger Corser and Love Child actress Jessica Marais to the coveted award.
“For the last few weeks I’ve been insisting amongst my family I’ll be called Your Royal Logieness,” Johnson laughed as he accepted the award.
“I was an outlier of sorts, desperate to find my place in this world. I found my home here in this world.
“I found my home here in the arts, a place that celebrated difference, a place that encouraged me to be truthful, to work harder, to pursue excellence.
“I did none of that.”
After he accepted the award, Molly Meldrum joined him at the microphone with a golden version of his signature hat.
“Sam, come here. I know it’s very hard to play an old drama queen like myself, and you did a great job, right,” Meldrum said.
“So on behalf of the drama Queen of Australia, I would like to crown you also with my gold hat, here it is, well done.”
Molly was then helped off the stage by Johnson, who smiled politely throughout.
The Molly mini-series also won the Logie for Best Drama Program.
The Most Outstanding Actor Logie was won by Henry Nixon for his portrayal of Fergus McFadden in Foxtel drama The Kettering Incident.
And Anna Torv, best known for her long-running role as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on the Fox sci-fi drama Fringe, won the award for Most Outstanding Actress for her role as Harriet Dunkley on Foxtel’s Secret City.
Noni Hazlehurst accepted Most Outstanding Drama Series on behalf of A Place to Call Home, noting in her speech that the show had been kicked off the Seven Network but had continued to dominate on Foxtel.
“Australian stories matter; they take us to the world, and I hope that funding for Australian film and television stops being cut and television stops being cut and that we can continue to provide stories that resonate,” she said.
One of the most special moments of the night was Kerri-Anne Kennerley being inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame. The 63-year-old looked stunning in a floor-length gown with sparkling silver crystals as she accepted the gong.
“Thanks for the ovation – I’m chuffed with that,” Kennerley said.
“I’m not going to use this beautiful salubrious occasion to lampoon or roast anyone because I have a book out at the end of the year for that.”
She said there has not been a year in the past half-century when she hasn’t been on TV in one way or another.
Network Ten had a very successful 2017 Logies with comedy show Are You Paying Attention? collecting two gongs.
The network has also had wins for Gogglebox, The Living Room and The Project, while last year’s Gold Logie winner Aly won the gong for best presenter again, taking the award for a second time in two years.
ABC’s Please Like Me, starring Josh Thomas, was named most outstanding comedy.