Shaun defines his own work by his goals, and models his development as an actor after one of his favourite films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Shaun says, “In demonstrating the codes of commitment and honour, this film inspires one to be, simply, a good man.”
Shaun was born and raised in Ponoka, about an hour south of Edmonton, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the University of Alberta's acclaimed drama program.
Johnston's first work as a professional was in Alberta's thriving theatre scene. In 1993, he played his first lead in a feature film as a loose-living biker in William Hornecker's tragic drama, Two Brothers a Girl and a Gun. That role won him the first of several Alberta Film & Television Awards for best actor.
Numerous film and television parts followed in both Canada and the U.S. including X-Files, Jake and the Kid, Smallville, Traders, DaVinci’s Inquest, the Gemini Award winning Mayerthorpe and Emmy Award winning Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
In 2007 Shaun took on the role of Jack Bartlett and received a Gemini nomination for his work on Heartland's first season.
An actor who incarnates a North American western archetype, Johnston would have been at home in Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Glenn Ford pictures of other eras. Reassuringly old school, his Jack Bartlett stands for home, honesty, and uncomplaining acceptance of whatever cards life hands him.
Off-screen, Johnston is an avid hockey player and guitar player who co-founded Shadow Theatre, currently one of Edmonton’s most successful theatre companies. He's an avid Charitable Event Producer having raised funds and awareness for organizations such Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children's Cottage Society and Autism Calgary. In 2011, Shaun was honoured to receive the David Billington Award, presented annually to an Albertan who has made an invaluable contribution to Alberta’s production community with their passion and dedication.