Dean Jones dies at 84: A singer, actor, and Disney star who was very popular in the 1960s and 70s died in Los Angeles on Tuesday at the age of 84.
The cause for the death of ‘Love Bug’ star is found out to be Parkinson’s disease as told by Richard Hoffman, a spokesperson, to the reporters.
Dean Jones started his career at a very young age as a radio host and performer in amateur musical revues. Since that early age, he used to be a very bright and talented artist. Later on, he and Jane Fonda debuted at Broadway. Before the 1960s, he was working in every possible project. Some time later, he found his niche as per his skills and abilities. He got to work in a family comedy produced by Walt Disney Company in 1965, That Darn Cat!”
In the flow of the time, Dean Jones was recruited by Walt Disney himself to work in 1962-63 release NBC sitcom “Ensign O’Toole”, “The Wonderful World of Disney”, a series which used to air on NBC at Sunday night.Dean Jones with Hayley Mills in “That Darn Cat!” (1965).CreditWalt Disney Productions, via Everett Collection
“That Darn Cat!” was followed by “The Ugly Dachshund” (1966), “Monkeys, Go Home!” (1967), “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit” (1968) and “The Shaggy D.A.” (1976).
The best-known work of Dean Jones was the role of a race car driver essayed in “The Love Bug”. He played the role of Jim Douglas in that film which released in 1968 and proved to be a big hit. When its sequels and TV series were made, he continued to essay the same role.
He made an unusual impression on the world of theater through his character which he played in Company, produced by Broadway Productions in 1970. Soon after it, he left the production due to ongoing stress and depression in his own married life.
Born on 25th January 1931, his full name was Dean Carroll Jones to Andrew Guy Jones and Nolia Elizabeth White.
After a while, he started his own radio show, “Dean Jones Sings”, attended Riverside High School in Decatur, studied music and acting at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky. Then, he got a job in the Navy. During serving for Special Services, he met and married to his first wife, Mae Inez Entwistle in 1953.
After getting retirement, in 1954, he got another job at the Bird Cage Theater in Buena Park, California. Then, he met Vernon Duke and Frank Loesser because of them, he got to work for MGM chief Dore Schary for a studio contract.
His first credited film came out in the year 1956 titled “Those Wilder Years,” starring James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck although he was starred in just one scene.
His filmography includes films like Jailhouse Rock, Imitation General, Torpedo Run, Never so Few, There was a little girl, Under the Yum-Yum tree. He won Laurel award as the top new star of the year for his performance in Handle With Care.
Dean Jones was married to the actress Lory Patrick in the year 1973. Later that year, he experienced an accident of his won in which he and a passenger could have been killed. He referred that incident as a religious awakening.
Later on, he got play the role of a conspirator Charles Colson in the film Born Again. After that, he appeared in 1986 release “Into the Light” and”St. John in Exile.”
After a gap, he appeared in Hollywood films occasionally including “Other People’s Money”, “Beethoven”, and “Clear and Present Danger.”
Since the last couple of years, he has devoted himself completely to Christianity and developed / produced only films related to Christians. Moreover, he along with his wife funded the Christian Rescue Committee in 1998. Now, it is known as the Christian Rescue Fund, a support group for Christians, Jews, and others.
Apart from his wife, Dean Jones is survived by his two children from the first marriage, a son, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.