Rusty Johnson

Host of A DaVinci Life

Who is Rusty Johnson? The question is not as easy to answer as you'd think.  Most of us probably don't have mornings that begin like Rusty's. You know, another boring old Wednesday where you go down to the basement freezer and unpack 14 frozen guinea pigs in order to feed your 210lb Burmese python who lives in the headboard of Rusty's bed. And while your down there could you feed fish to the alligator and giant snapping turtle?


It's so interesting watching a snake swallow its prey, but who has time for that when there's a rather hungry Andean condor in the backyard to feed. Who would just assume take its diet of raw meat from any source, even like a thumb.


Rusty's home can be a strange and wondrous kingdom. Just be careful where you sit, lean, step, sleep, eat, etc. It's not unlikely to spot a screech owl on top of the refrigerator for example. Or have a 10-foot monocle cobra named Naja staring you down during breakfast.


A poison dart frog here, a pygmy hedgehog scurrying across the floor there, you know how it is. You heard the question asked, where have all the endangered species gone? I would say a lot of them lived at Rusty's house. Bald eagles, Golden eagles, and peregrine falcons to name a few.


Then there's red tail hawks, vultures, and let's not forget “Big Owl Capone” the Giant European Eagle owl, his human-sized orange eyes always seem to be watching. Wait, I think he spy's a pile of leaves moving, oops wrong, that's Rusty's West African Gaboon viper. To the untrained eye, it's easy to confuse his viper with his copperhead or rattlesnake for that matter.

Rusty can wear several hats, just not at once. It's as though he has a set of secret nail hooks in his bedroom closet to hang them all on, and dust off as needed.


Some have called him the Birdman, in the Amazon jungle, he is known as Tarzan Santa Claus. So which is he? Truth be told he is all of them and more.

He has been a wildlife expert, a jungle guide, a TV personality, an author, a lead guitarist, a humanitarian, and a philanthropist. See what I mean?  It's hard to pin him down.


He dabbles in martial arts, falconry, and the list goes on. He is down to earth, yet somehow elusive. He has suffered from dyslexia and aphasia but penned a popular book called Twilight of the Wild.  He is a self-professed social introvert but has given over 3,000 lectures. These may seem like contradictions, but in actuality, they are merely opposing puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly to form one singular and unique personality known as Rusty Johnson.


His self-made career has led him to some of the planet's most fascinating deserts, jungles, and islands. Not bad for a small-town boy with no formal education past high school.  He has learned by doing, discovered through exploration, and he can jam with any band by ear. It's no wonder he was one of the youngest members ever to be inducted into The Explorers Club, an international multidisciplinary organization promoting scientific exploration and field study. It was there that Rusty met such luminary figures as Neil Armstrong and Sylvia Earle.


"Rusty's way with animals, including humans, is magical." 
Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence

Consulting for a plethora of networks including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, A&E, and others. His cumulative experience eventually took him into the Amazon rainforest where he led over 30 expeditions and garnered the hard-earned trust of the Amazon natives. His Nets for Nino's campaign served to protect Peru's indigenous children from such deadly diseases as malaria, an affliction that Rusty himself contracted while delivering much-needed supplies to jungle schools and hospitals. Later he became the subject of a Travel Channel television series called Hotel Amazon. Rusty served as consulting producer and star.





Plenty for one man right? Not for the man called Rusty Johnson. This cutting-edge venture is currently being parleyed into another groundbreaking TV show in development starring creator Rusty Johnson and the well-known celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky.


OK then, what do you think? Have we encapsulated Rusty Johnson? Have we figured him out? I think not. His enigmatic ways, and well of creativity, will always go on continuing to push the boundaries and defy our expectations. Surely, we can anticipate more innovative projects.

Perhaps productions uncovering new aspects of animal behavior. How does a film on human predatory behaviors sound? A potential work based on the interviews that Rusty conducted with the nefarious serial killer Richard Ramirez “The Night Stalker”. Or perhaps the future holds a startlingly original zoom show Exploring those individuals amongst the 10 percent of humanity that light the way forward for us all...
A DaVinci Life




Rusty's innate sense of adventure and quest for knowledge has led him on adventures around the planet. His desire to improve the quality of our world has inspired TV shows and continues to influence everyone he meets. His keen sensibilities and natural curiosity set the stage for this innovative new show. Self-made and fiercely independent there is no one better to plumb the mind of a DaVinci, if not possess one himself.

Rusty Johnson charms and fascinates all though those who stand in his presence. And oh yeah, because I'm sure your dying to know, yes, Rusty Johnson is his real name.


View Rusty's Video Reel

Listen to an interview with Rusty