Dan Grossi/ AP
In this May 24, 1966, file picture, star Dean Jones sits for an image while on the set for the Warner Bros. movie “Any Wednesday” in New York. Jones has died of Parkinson’s Disease at age 84. He passed away Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Los Angeles.
Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015|9:40 p.m.
LOS ANGELES– Dean Jones, whose boyish good appearances and all-American way made him Disney’s preferred young star for such lighthearted films as “That Darn Cat!” and “The Love Bug,” has passed away of Parkinson’s disease. He was 84.
He died Monday in Los Angeles, Jones’ press agent Richard Hoffman stated Wednesday.
Jones’ long association with The Walt Disney Co. started after he got an unexpected call from Walt Disney himself, who applauded his work on the TV show “Ensign O’Toole,” noting it had “some good closing series.” Jones, himself a former Navy man, played the title role in the 1962 sitcom.
Jones puzzled over Disney’s remark until it occurred to him that “Ensign O’Toole” preceded Disney’s own Sunday night show on NBC, and he understood Disney probably only saw each episode’s ending.
Two years later, Jones learnt through Disney once again, calling this time to provide him a role in “That Darn Feline!” opposite ingénue Hayley Mills. His FBI agent Zeke Kelso follows a crime-solving feline that leads him to a pair of bank burglars.
Launched in 1965, it would the very first of 10 Disney movies Jones would make, the majority of them in the supernatural vein.
“I see something in them that is pure form. Simply home entertainment. No preaching,” he told the L.a Times. “We’re constantly looking for social significance however possibly people similar to to be entertained.”
“The Love Bug” (1969) was the most effective of the category, with Jones playing a struggling race-driver who obtains a Volkswagen that wins races for him. The Bug, called Herbie, has actually concealed human characteristics, and when it feels unappreciated it vanishes. Jones needs to save Herbie from the hands of his nefarious competitor and release the automobile an apology prior to it wins the big race for him.
After “The Love Bug,” Jones went back to the phase, winning the lead function of Robert in “Company,” Stephen Sondheim’s now-classic musical about marital angst, Manhattan-style. He withdrew from the 1970 production after a brief time, pointing out family issues, but he is heard on the Grammy-winning Broadway cast cd.
He had actually started his career as a vocalist before going on to appear in a string of mostly forgettable films throughout the 1950s. A significant exception was 1957’s “Jailhouse Rock,” among Elvis Presley’s best-remembered vehicles, where Jones had a bit part as a video jockey.
In 1960, Jones made his Broadway debut with Jane Fonda in “There Was a Little Woman,” playing Fonda’s partner in a temporary drama about the rape of a young woman.
He had much better luck on Broadway later in 1960, when he appeared in the hit comedy “Under the Yum Yum Tree.” Sparring with Gig Young, who played a comically wolfish character, Jones had “the best blend of sturdiness and lightness,” The New york city Times composed.
He went back to Hollywood making the movie version of “Under the Yum Yum Tree” and to star in tv’s “Ensign O’Toole” from 1962 to 1964. He likewise reteamed with Fonda for the movie variation of a racy stage comedy, “Any Wednesday.”
It was in Disney’s gentle family funnies, nevertheless, that Jones really struck his stride. Walt Disney himself passed away in 1966, however the studio and its design of film survived.
In “Monkeys, Go House,” Jones attempted to teach four monkeys to pick grapes at a French vineyard he acquired. In “Million Dollar Duck,” he was a scientist with a duck that began laying golden eggs after being splashed with radiation.
He went back to the Disney studio in 1977 for one more film, “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.”
Twenty years later, he had smaller sized parts in the remake of “That Darn Cat” and the TV variation of “The Love Bug.”
He worked regularly into his 70s, appearing frequently on TELEVISION and in films. His later credits consisted of “St. John in Exile,”” Beethoven “and”Other individuals’s Cash.”
In 1969, he was host of a TV variety program, “Exactly what’s It All About, World?” But he said providing jokes, stand-up comedy character, was not really his strength. “My bag is acting or entering an amusing scenario and then sharing my amusement,” he told the Times. “I can sense a scenario or a character better than I can sense a line.”
Dean Carroll Jones left his home town of Decatur, Alabama, at 15, supporting himself by selecting cotton and cutting lumber till he landed a job as a vocalist in a New Orleans club. When the club closed, he went back to Decatur to complete high school.
After studying voice at Asbury University in Kentucky, he invested four years in the Navy. Soon after his release, he was signed by MGM, and it stood for a time that he was being groomed as a possible successor to James Dean.
Jones married Mae Entwisle, a onetime Miss San Diego, in 1954, and the couple had two daughters, Carol and Deanna. He and his second spouse, Lory, had a child, Michael.
Throughout his profession, he ‘d appear in 46 movies and five Broadway shows. In 1995, Jones was honored by his longtime employers with an area in the Disney Legends Hall of Popularity.
Besides Lory, his spouse of 42 years, and his youngsters, Jones is endured by eight grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.