Disney Legend Dean Jones has died at the age of 84. According to his publicist Richard Hoffman, the cause of death was Parkinsons.
Dean Jones was regularly seen in Disney films. In his first he portrayed FBI Agent Kelso in That Darn Cat! opposite of Hayley Mills. He went on to appear in The Ugly Dachshund, Monkeys Go Home, Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit, The Love Bug, Million Dollar Duck, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and then the remake of That Darn Cat.
His film career began in 1956 when he appeared Somebody Up There Likes Me, which starred Paul Newman. He went on the next year to appear in Jailhouse Rock with Elvis Presley. Jones also regularly appeared on Broadway and was the original Bobby for Stephen Sondheim’s Company. He will always be most remembered for his role with Herbie in The Love Bug and the four sequels that were born out of that Disney classic. Throughout his career he appeared in 46 movies and five Broadway plays. He was also honored by the Walt Disney Company in 1995 as a Disney Legend.
Jones was born in Decatur, Alabama in 1931. At age 15 he left home and supported himself by picking cotton and cutting lumber until he landed a singing gig at a nightclub in New Orleans. He served in the Navy during the Korean War. Later in life after a drunk driving accident he became a devout Christian and founded the Christian Rescue Committee (now the Christian Rescue Fund) to “rescue persecuted Christians and Jews. “
Jones is survived by his wife of 42 years Lory Basham Jones. The two have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.