Actor Known for Classic Family Films Dies — He Became a Household Name in ‘The Love Bug,’ ‘That Darn Cat!’ and Other Roles

Sep 3, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A well-known film and TV actor whose “boyish good looks and all-American manner made him Disney’s favorite young actor for such lighthearted films as ‘That Darn Cat!’ and ‘The Love Bug'” has died, the AP reports. Dean Jones died Tuesday of Parkinson’s disease in Los Angeles at age 84.

“Jones’ long association with The Walt Disney Co. began after he received an unexpected call from Walt Disney himself, who praised his work on the TV show ‘Ensign O’Toole,’ noting it had ‘some good closing sequences.’ Jones, himself a former Navy man, played the title role in the 1962 sitcom,” the AP story notes.

Jones cut his teeth in television with guest roles on Westerns including “Stagecoach West,” “Bonanza” and “Wagon Train” before landing the lead in NBC’s “Ensign O’Toole,” which ran one season, from 1962-1963. A 12-year run with Disney followed, with “That Darn Cat!” followed by “The Ugly Dachshund,” “Blackbeard’s Ghost” and “Snowball Express.”

Jones appeared in his signature role as race car driver Jim Douglas in two “Love Bug” movies — “The Love Bug” in 1969 and “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” in 1977 — along with the short-lived 1982 TV series “Herbie, the Love Bug” and a 1997 TV movie, “The Love Bug.”

His other film appearances included “The Shaggy D.A.” (1976) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994). He was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1972 for “The Million Dollar Duck.”

dean jones-the love bugDean Jones in “The Love Bug”

One Comment

  1. It is very sad to see another icon from my youth pass. It seems like there have been way too many this year.

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