Christopher Jones (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones The Legend of Jesse James 1965.JPG
Jones as Jesse James, 1965.
BornWilliam Frank Jones
(1941-08-18)August 18, 1941
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedJanuary 31, 2014(2014-01-31) (aged 72)
Los Alamitos, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Spouse(s)Susan Strasberg (1965-1968; divorced; 1 child)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones The Legend of Jesse James 1965.JPG
Jones as Jesse James, 1965.
BornWilliam Frank Jones
(1941-08-18)August 18, 1941
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedJanuary 31, 2014(2014-01-31) (aged 72)
Los Alamitos, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Spouse(s)Susan Strasberg (1965-1968; divorced; 1 child)

William Frank Jones, better known as Christopher Jones (August 18, 1941 – January 31, 2014), was an American stage, movie, and television actor from Jackson, Tennessee.[1]

Early life[edit]

His father was a grocery clerk and his mother Robbie was an artist. She was admitted to the State Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee in 1945 suffering from emotional problems. Jones and his brother were then placed in Boys Town in Memphis where he became a fan of James Dean after being told he bore a resemblance to him. He then joined the army, but went AWOL and after serving a sentence in a military prison he moved to New York where he began his acting career. His mother died when he was 19.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Jones (adopting the stage name Christopher) made his Broadway debut on December 17, 1961, in Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana, directed by Corsaro and starring Shelley Winters. Winters introduced Jones to actress Susan Strasberg, the daughter of Method acting progenitor Lee Strasberg. Jones later studied at Strasberg's Actors Studio. Despite friction with Lee, Jones married Susan in 1965. The couple had a daughter, Jennifer Robin Jones, in 1966, named as a tribute to actress Jennifer Jones.[citation needed]

Moving to Hollywood, Jones was cast in the title role of an ABC television series, The Legend of Jesse James (produced by 20th Century Fox), which ran for thirty-four episodes in the 1965-66 season. When the series ended, he accepted the role of Strasberg's lover/husband in the movie Chubasco. Their marriage did not survive the filming and they divorced in 1968.[citation needed]

Jones's next acting job, as rock star and Presidential aspirant Max Frost in the film Wild in the Streets (1968), costarring Shelley Winters, propelled him to the peak of his fame. He appeared later in the same year with Yvette Mimieux in the sex comedy Three in the Attic. Jones also became friends with actress Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski. He later claimed that he had an affair with Tate while she was pregnant with Polanski's child and that she had a premonition of her death (she was murdered by members of the Manson family).[3]

After two films in Europe with Pia Degermark (The Looking Glass War and Brief Season, both 1969), Jones was cast by movie director David Lean in Ryan's Daughter (1970). The two men had a difficult relationship. This intensified when production of the film took twelve months instead of the expected six. This and the death of Sharon Tate took a personal toll on Jones, who returned from Ireland to California after filming ended (staying for a time in the caretaker's cottage behind the house where Tate had died), and abandoned his acting career.[4]

Later life[edit]

Jones was offered the part of Zed in Pulp Fiction (1994) by director Quentin Tarantino, but he turned it down.[5] He made a final screen appearance in crime comedy Mad Dog Time (1996). In his later years he had a career as an artist and sculptor. His works included an oil painting of Rudolph Valentino that was displayed at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[4]

Death[edit]

He died on January 31, 2014, at the age of 72 due to complications arising from cancer.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vitello, Paul (February 8, 2014). "Christopher Jones, Actor who Quit Field, Dies at 72". New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ Christopher Jones Biography at cinetropic; retrieved February 1, 2014
  3. ^ Das, Linda. "The final affair of Roman Polanski's murdered wife Sharon Tate". Daily Mail. Retrieved August 31, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike (February 1, 2014). "'Ryan's Daughter' Star Christopher Jones Dies at 72". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ Colker, David (February 4, 2014). "Christopher Jones dies at 72; actor quit at peak of career". The Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]