Thursday, September 03, 2015

Farewell to Dean Jones, 1931-2015

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Dean Jones, who died Tuesday at the age of 84.

Jones, who was named a Disney Legend two decades ago, was an important part of the moviegoing childhood of many of us of a certain age.

Jones's Disney film BLACKBEARD'S GHOST (1968) was one of the first films I ever saw at a drive-in, on a double bill with THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967).

As a child I saw him in several other Disney films, including THE LOVE BUG (1968) -- that one might have been at a drive-in, too! -- THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK (1971), and a reissue of THAT DARN CAT! (1965).

My favorite Dean Jones Disney movie was SNOWBALL EXPRESS (1972). As I wrote in my review, I have fond memories of seeing it with my grandfather not once, but twice!

I also remember Jones from two good TV-movies, THE GREAT MAN'S WHISKERS (1972) and WHEN EVERY DAY WAS THE FOURTH OF JULY (1978).

In more recent years I caught his Disney film THE UGLY DACHSHUND (1961) on DVD. It was also fun to see him in an early role in the war film TORPEDO RUN (1958).

Off the screen, Dean Jones was a man of Christian faith who founded The Christian Rescue Fund to aid persecuted Christians and Jews; the mission has expanded to help orphans and others in distressed situations.

Obituaries have been posted in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Los Angeles Times.

Jones is survived by his wife, three children, and extended family.

Incidentally, THE LOVE BUG is playing this coming week as part of the Disney Screen series at half a dozen Cinemark theaters in the U.S. I'm hoping to catch it, as I've not seen it in many years. (Update: Here is a review of THE LOVE BUG.)


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Coincidentally, I've been sorting my media (DVDs, tapes, CDs) and came across the DVD of "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July". It definitely went into the "keep" pile. Yes, Dean Jones means a lot to generations of fans.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Caftan Woman, I'm glad you let me know that movie is out on DVD. I've bookmarked it to pick it up sometime. I don't believe I've seen it since it was first on.

Best wishes,

11:27 AM  
Blogger Maricatrin said...

I heard the news in the midst of a very busy week, but it still hit me. He was such a part of my childhood, I can't even begin to say how many times I've seen "That Darn Cat" and "Blackbeard's Ghost." I also really enjoyed his performance in "The Shaggy D.A" as the grown-up Wilby Daniels.

I understand he also did a one man stage show as John the Apostle (which was recorded to tape). I wonder if this was connected to his work for The Christian Rescue Fund? He was a good guy.

11:46 AM  

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