Johnny Messner
Born (1970-04-11) April 11, 1970 (age 53)
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Avril Grace
Kathryn Morris (divorced)

Johnny Messner (born April 11, 1970) is an American film and television actor best known for his portrayal of a muscular military man in the 2004 film Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid.


Messner was born on April 11, 1970, in Syracuse, New York. He lived in Europe for 13 years while his father served in the United States Air Force, mainly in Germany and England. During this time, he developed a love for sports while playing on teams at military bases. He has one brother and one sister.[1] He briefly attended the San Diego State University to major in sports broadcasting but eventually decided to drop out.[2] Soon after that he went back to New York where he pursued an acting career.[3] He has several tattoos; one depicts Italian actress Monica Bellucci, and another is of his father.[3]

As an actor Messner is probably best known for his work in the films Tears of the Sun, The Whole Ten Yards and Hostage, and in the TV series Guiding Light (working with friend Frank Grillo and a young Hayden Panettiere), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case. In August 2004, American action adventure film Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, starring Messner as an ex-military man Bill Johnson, premiered in theaters. It was the actor's first leading role in a mainstream movie.[2][4][5][6] Around that time Messner became notorious[citation needed] due to his controversial interviews for IGN and Lawrence Journal-World.[3][2] He stated that "in Hollywood we've lost the real man", and that he's the only "alpha male" still working in the film industry, along with Bruce Willis.[3][2] In those interviews Messner expressed harsh criticism for actors Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt and Vin Diesel, among others.[3][2] In December 2004, the horror-themed website CampBlood named him the 2004's sexiest man in horror.[7]

Known as an action hero, he starred in numerous genre films including Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004), Tears of the Sun (2003), Running Scared (2006), Arena (2011), Kill 'em All (2012), The Good, the Bad, and the Dead (2015), Silencer (2018), and Beyond the Law (2019). He portrayed the main protagonist, an ex-police officer Burke Wyatt, in the 2008 action film Ring of Death, created for Spike TV.[8] A torture sequence, shot for the film, required Messner to be waterboarded.[9]

Messner's ex-wife is Kathryn Morris, whom he met while shooting Cold Case.[10] They have twin sons.[11] Messner is currently married to Avril Grace.[12][13]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Dancing in September Officer Jenkins
2001 Operation Delta Force 4: Deep Fault Vickers
2002 The Sweetest Thing Todd
2003 Tears of the Sun Lake
2003 Finding Home Nick
2004 Spartan Grace
2004 The Whole Ten Yards Zevo
2004 Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid Bill Johnson
2004 Our Time is Up Playboy
2005 Hostage Mr. Jones
2006 One Last Thing... Jason O'Malley
2006 Running Scared Tommy "Tombs" Perello
2006 Bottoms Up Tony
2007 Believers David Vaughn
2008 The Art of Travel Christopher Loren
2008 Remarkable Power Doug Wade
2008 Loaded Javon
2008 Ring of Death Burke Wyatt
2008 The Poker Club Bill
2009 Wrong Turn at Tahoe Mickey
2010 Corrado Corrado
2011 Arena Kaden
2011 Caught on Tape Tito
2012 She Wants Me John
2012 Kill'em All Gabriel
2013 Officer Down McAlister
2013 The Outsider Ricky
2014 The Equalizer P&E Worker
2015 Condemned Gault
2015 Checkmate Joey
2015 The Good, the Bad and the Dead Brian Barns
2016 The Perfect Weapon Condor
2017 American Violence Paul
2018 Silencer Frank
2018 Alone We Fight Captain Hank Kedry
2019 Beyond the Law Frank Wilson
2020 Breach Blue
2021 Cosmic Sin Coco
2021 Overrun Detective Blake Finning
2022 American Siege Silas
2022 A Day to Die Schipp
2022 Detective Knight: Rogue Brigga[14] Also Executive Producer
2023 Detective Knight: Redemption Executive Producer only
2023 Detective Knight: Independence Executive Producer only
2023 Call Her King John Stryker


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Guiding Light Rob Layne 22 episodes
1999 Rude Awakening Cute Podiatrist Episode: "One Birthday at a Time"
1999 Angel Kevin Episode: "Lonely Heart"
2000 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Ted Sallanger Episode: "Cool Change"
2001 Danny Cash Episode: "Forget About Your Boss"
2001 Son of the Beach Handsome Guy Episode: "Area 69"
2001 Friends Kash Episode: "The One With Rachel's Date"
2001 Men, Women & Dogs Jim Episode: "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
2003 Tarzan Detective Michael Foster 3 episodes
2005 The O.C. Lance Baldwin 5 episodes
2005 Miami Ink Himself
2005–06 Killer Instinct Detective Jack Hale 13 episodes
2007 Burn Notice Harrick Episode: "Loose Ends, Part 2"
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Captain Lowell Harris Episode "Undercover"
2008 Knight Rider Sean Episode: "Journey to the End of the Knight"
2009 CSI: Miami Ken Vogel Episode: "Sink or Swim"
2010 Chuck Rafe Gruber Episode: "Chuck Versus the Fake Name"
2010 Cold Case FBI Agent Ryan Cavanaugh 3 episodes
2010 The Gates Mark Woodbury Episode: "Pilot"
2010 Dark Blue Danny 2 episodes
2010 G.I. Joe: Renegades Flint (voice) 11 episodes
2010 A Soldier's Love Story (originally titled: Meet My Mom) Sgt. Vince Carrera Hallmark Movie
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Frank Cafferty Episode: "CSI Down"
2017 Jane the Virgin Chuck Chesser 10 episodes
2018 Criminal Minds Jeremy Grant Episode: "Luke"
2020 Primitive Dr. Mamedyarov Episode: "Blind Sighted"
2020 The Christmas High Note Michael Lifetime Movie

Awards and nominations

Year Event Award/category Work Result Ref.
2004 The Skully Awards Horror Hottie of the Year Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid Won [7]
2012 Behind the Voice Actors Awards
(BTVA Television Voice Acting)
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series
(shared with Jason Marsden and Clancy Brown, among others[15])
G.I. Joe: Renegades Nominated [15]


  1. ^ johnny messner [@JMessner] (April 4, 2012). "@BrettAnthony2 that's true buddy Messner is German and so am I even though I was adopted:)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b c d e Niccum, Joe (August 27, 2004). "'Anacondas' star on quest to bring 'a real man' back to Hollywood". Lawrence Journal-World. Ogden Newspapers. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Head, Steve (August 28, 2004). "Interview: Johnny Messner". IGN. IGN Entertainment Inc. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "'Anacondas' has suspenseful twists, goofy dialogue". The Standard-Times. Gannett. August 26, 2004. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Fox, Ellen (August 27, 2020). "With no-name cast, `Anacondas' fizzles". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Dennis (September 2, 2004). "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid". Ozus's World Movie Reviews. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Best of 2004: The First Annual Skully Awards". CampBlood. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  8. ^ Vasquez, Felix (May 21, 2008). "Ring of Death (2008)". Cinema Crazed. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ring of Death". Facebook. Facebook, Inc. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  10. ^ johnny messner [@JMessner] (August 5, 2013). "This is a minute reason but one of many that I love my wife. Kathryn Susan Morris. I love you…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Leon, Anya; Triggs, Charlotte (September 17, 2003). [1] Archived 2014-09-10 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Messner, Johnny. "What a beautiful trip to Gods Country ! It was 3 years since my first trip with Avril to meet her whole family on Read Island So grateful for all of my life and my wife ❤️❤️🙏❤️🌱🌱". Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  13. ^ Messner, Johnny. "My Queen, The Medicine/God brought us together for the universal set up! I had no idea what love truly felt like until you came into my life✨ Happy birthday Bubba I love you for all eternity ❤️❤️". Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  14. ^ Billington, Alex (September 14, 2022). "Official Trailer for Thriller 'Detective Knight: Rogue' with Bruce Willis". First Showing. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  15. ^ a b "Johnny Messner (I) – Awards". IMDb., Inc. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.