Clean-cut, boyishly handsome Dean Jones made his start as a radio host turned Broadway star, before becoming Disney’s amiable guy-next-door type. This squeaky-clean image is where audiences liked him best. For some in Hollywood, his “squeak” made him an undesirable, but for Dean it was pure joy. It was a brand that made him a success. According to USA Today, “six of his ten films for Walt Disney are on Variety’s all-time hit list.” His association with Disney also became a statement for his professional career (see below), and a move that was integral to his role as Hollywood’s Mr. Nice Guy. Dean Jones died Tuesday, September 1. He was 84. Batjac offers you a look back.
January 25, 1931-September 1, 2015
Jones caught the eye of Disney during his time on “Ensign O’Toole” in 1962. Disney mentioned to Jones that this show “had some good closing sequences.” When Jones realized that this show preceded Disney’s on Sunday nights, Jones realized that Disney probably only watched each episode’s ending. Two years later, Disney offered him the lead in “That Darn Cat!”
“The Love Bug” became one of the highest grossing movies of 1969. The film spawned 3 sequels, one of which Jones would appear in.