Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (2024)

Don Johnson couldn't be prouder of his five children.

The longtime actor first became a dad when he was dating actress Patti D'Arbanville. The couple welcomed their son Jesse Wayne in 1982 — and Johnson later told PEOPLE that he credited the newborn boy with saving his life.

In 1989, Johnson became a dad for the second time when he welcomed his first daughter with Melanie Griffith. Johnson and Griffith had been married and divorced over a decade earlier, but reconciled in 1989. Just months after the couple remarried, the actress gave birth to Dakota Mayi.

While Johnson ultimately split with Griffith, he found love again with his wife, Kelley Phleger. After the couple tied the knot in 1999, they welcomed three children — Atherton Grace, Jasper Breckenridge and Deacon James. Johnson admitted that he was more relaxed with his younger children, but was just as excited about adding to the family.

"I love kids, so it's more good times, more joy and more fun. It's no less exciting this time than it was the first time," Johnson shared with OK! Magazine following the birth of his youngest son in 2006.

Here's everything to know about Don Johnson's five children: Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon.

Jesse Wayne Johnson, 41

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (1)

Johnson became a dad for the first time with his then-partner Patti D'Arbanville when they welcomed their only child together, Jesse Wayne Johnson, on Dec. 7, 1982, in Los Angeles.

In the 70s, Johnson dealt with drug and alcohol addiction. The actor credited welcoming the little boy with changing his life for the better.

"I walked into the breakfast room one morning and the sun was shining and the birds were singing, and Patti was feeding the baby," he told PEOPLE in 1984. "I came staggering in and sat down and looked at them, and she looked at me and I knew that if I didn't do something she was going to leave. So I said, 'Patti, I'm a drunk and a drug addict, and I'm going to do something about it.' "

Johnson later went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and, 45 days later, became sober.

In a 2009 interview with Top Cat Films, Jesse shared that he grew up in Aspen, Colorado, where he discovered his love of the outdoors and sports like snowboarding and ice hockey. While he didn't venture into Hollywood until adulthood, he joined his family on the red carpet occasionally.

Jesse was the first of Johnson's children to follow in his footsteps in the entertainment industry. He studied theater at Occidental College in L.A., graduating in 2004 before pursuing an acting career. He made his debut when he was just a teenager, taking a small role in his dad's hit TV series Nash Bridges. Since then, he has appeared in several other projects, including Hawaii Five-0, Twin Peaks, Grey's Anatomy and NCIS.

Jesse is also a musician — in 2020, he posted a throwback photo of himself playing guitar in 1998. In October 2020, his band Blame Baby released their debut EP titled Honest Answers To Your Most Private Questions. A year later, Jesse teamed up with two friends to release Trésjeté, a collection of songs.

Dakota Mayi Johnson, 34

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (2)

Johnson and then-wife Griffith welcomed their daughter, Dakota Mayi, on Oct. 4, 1989, in Austin, Texas. According to UPI, Johnson was in the Lone Star State working on his movie Hot Spot, and when filming wrapped, the family returned to L.A. — although they weren't there for long.

In 2017, Dakota told Vogue that she didn't have much stability in her early life as she often traveled with her actor parents around the world for months at a time. Without "an anchor" anywhere, she was "consistently unmoored and discombobulated." By the time she was 3, she was already in therapy.

"I feel like I grew up in the circus. I know planes, trains and automobiles. And really talented, weird people," Dakota told Another Magazine in 2015 about her childhood.

When she wasn't on the road, she split time between Griffith's L.A. home and Johnson's Colorado ranch — and she occasionally spent time at her grandmother Tippi Hedren's big cat sanctuary in the California desert. She finally remained in one place for a few consecutive years after enrolling at a private school in Santa Monica, California.

At 12, Dakota became interested in modeling when she took part in a Teen Vogue photo shoot with other children of celebrities, she recalled to Aspen Peak magazine in 2008. She eventually signed up with the modeling agency IMG and began working as a model while she was still in high school.

In 2006, she followed in her mother's footsteps as Miss Golden Globe — the first second-generation child to hold the title.

Dakota made her film debut with her mother in Crazy in Alabama in 1999. While her parents discouraged her from pursuing acting seriously, Dakota pushed forward and applied to Juilliard to study the art, she shared on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She wasn't accepted into the program, and as a result Johnson financially cut her off, since his stipulation for being on his "payroll" was that she was in school.

Dakota then moved to West Hollywood, California, and began auditioning. It didn't take long to land her first big role as Sean Parker's one-night stand in The Social Network.

From there, Dakota's career took off, and she appeared in films like 21 Jump Street and The Five-Year Engagement; she also landed a starring role in the short-lived TV series Ben and Kate. Dakota's breakthrough moment came in 2013 when she was cast as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Since skyrocketing to fame in the romantic drama, Dakota has kept a packed schedule with appearances in movies like The Peanut Butter Falcon, Bad Times at the El Royale and Suspiria. In fact, Johnson once said that he and Dakota hadn't seen each other in a while because she was just too busy.

"She doesn't really call me for advice. She calls me to say, 'Gosh, I would see you, but I've got three pictures that I'm shooting at the same time,' " he said on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2021.

While Johnson may not get as much quality time with Dakota as he used to, in 2016, he told E! News that he was "super proud" of everything she had accomplished — both on and off the screen. In 2021, Johnson shared in an interview onGood Day New York that he gave his seal of approval to Dakota's longtime boyfriend, Coldplay's Chris Martin, whom she began dating in 2017.

Atherton Grace Johnson, 24

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (3)

Johnson and wife Kelley Phleger welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Atherton Grace, or just "Grace," on Dec. 28, 1999.

Grace spent most of her childhood out of the spotlight, having grown up in Santa Barbara, California, per Santa Barbara Magazine. As a kid, she was rarely spotted with her famous family. Grace went on to study photography at the University of Southern California, a passion which was inspired by her grandmother, she told Glamour Spain.

Grace has also shown off her skills in front of the camera, signing with IMG and making her runway debut in the Christian Cowan x The Powerpuff Girls show in 2019. That year, she also attended the Met Gala with her sister Dakota, whom she has called her "best friend."

"My relationship with Dakota is a mix because she is not just my sister, she is my best friend. For a long time, regardless of the age difference, she has always treated me as an equal," Grace told Glamour Spain.

Since her runway debut, Grace has made major strides in her career, having appeared on the cover of Bello magazine and walked the runway in Gucci's 2021 Love Parade show. Grace was also featured in the campaign for Goop's collaboration with Banana Republic and even made a cameo in her brother Jesse's music video for the song "Headcase."

Jasper Breckenridge Johnson, 21

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (4)

Johnson and Phleger's second child, Jasper Breckenridge, was born on June 6, 2002. Throughout his upbringing in Santa Barbara, Jasper remained private, dedicating much of his time to sports. In high school, he played basketball on the varsity team starting in his freshman year.

He told the college sports recruiting organization NCSA that his parents had never missed a game. His brother Jesse was sure to catch a few as well: he captured Jasper shooting the winning basket during a game in January 2020.

Jasper graduated from high school in 2021. Ahead of his graduation, he wrote that he hoped to pursue a business major at a four year college.

Deacon James Johnson, 18

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (5)

Johnson and Phleger welcomed their youngest child, Deacon James, on April 29, 2006 — the same day as the couple's seventh wedding anniversary. Following Deacon's birth, Johnson's rep said he was "over the moon times six."

Like his older siblings, Deacon grew up in Santa Barbara, where he graduated from middle school in 2020, according to Phleger's Instagram. His parents have also shared posts featuring their son playing both the piano and guitar.

The youngest Johnson has also followed in his older brother's footsteps with his love of sports — he has often attended football and baseball games with his dad.

In 2023, as Deacon began his senior year of high school, Phleger posted a sweet picture of him holding a chalkboard that declared he wants to be an astronaut "when he grows up."

Don Johnson's 5 Kids: All About Jesse, Dakota, Atherton, Jasper and Deacon (2024)
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