Dean Jones, Legendary Disney Actor, Dies at 84

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by Alex Steadman

Actor Dean Jones, perhaps best known for his acting work in such Disney films as The Love Bug and That Darn Cat, died of Parkinson’s disease Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 84.

In addition to his appearances in films like Under the Yum-Yum Tree, The Shaggy D.A., The Million Dollar Duck, Snowball Express, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo and Beethoven, Jones also had roles in five Broadway shows and appeared in numerous television series and special. Overall, he appeared in 46 films.

Jones was born in Decatur, Ala., and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He attended Asbury University in Kentucky, which awarded him with an honorary degress in 2002.

The actor made his Broadway debut with There Was A Little Girl with Jane Fonda in 1960, and would go on to star in Broadway’s Under the Yum-Yum Tree that same year, before starring in the 1963 film adaptation with Jack Lemmon.

Jones’ other Broadway credits include the original role of Bobby in Harold Prince/Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and Cap’n Andy in the national tour of Harold Prince’s Showboat.

Jones made his film debut by inking a contract with MGM, and began with a small role in Somebody Up There Likes Me. He later played a DJ in Elvis Presley’s 1957 movie Jailhouse Rock.

Other film credits include Any Wednesday, The New Interns, Never So Few, Other People’s Money, When Every Day Was the Fourth of July, A Brush With Time and Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger.

Jones was inducted into the Disney Legends Hall of Fame in 1995.

Watch Jones in a clip from ‘Beethoven’