Dean Jones

Dean Jones

Over the course of more than half a century, Dean Jones built up a name synonymous with family-friendly entertainment. Kicking off his film career with the campy Walt Disney comedies of the 1960s, Jones eventually went on to explore spiritually-themed stage productions and action blockbusters like "Clear and Present Danger" (1994). No matter the variety of endeavors he attempted later in his career, Jones forever remained the wholesome comedian at the center of kooky family fare. Dean Carroll Jones was born in Decatur, Alabama. A young Jones served in the United States Navy and attended Asbury University before exploring a career on the stage and screen. After accumulating a number of minor film and television parts throughout the 1950s, Jones leapt to a starring position on the sitcom "Ensign O'Toole" (NBC 1962-63), which in turn led him to roles in hit Walt Disney family comedies like "That Darn Cat!" (1965) and "The Love Bug" (1968). Jones enjoyed a brief stint in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" in 1970. Following a conversion to born-again Christianity after he stopped drinking, Jones branched out to heavier dramas like the political biography "Born Again" (1978) and pioneered Christianity-themed stage productions throughout the 1980s. After returning to his family comedy roots with the hit film "Beethoven" (1992), Jones played opposite Harrison Ford in the acclaimed crime drama "Clear and Present Danger" (1994). Jones spent the last years of his career playing small cameos and voiceover roles. On September 1, 2015, an 84-year-old Jones died following a battle with Parkinson's disease.