Disney Star Dean Jones Dies at Age 84
Disney fans of classic family movies from the 60s and 70s have lost a beloved screen presence. Actor Dean Jones died September 1 at the age 84. Along with a Broadway and television career, he was a leading man in Disney movies for over a decade beginning in 1965 with the movie That Darn Cat where he played opposite Hayley Mills and Dorothy Provine.
His most memorable Disney role was in The Love Bug, where he played a struggling race car driver who stumbles upon a little white Volkswagen with a mind of its own. Starring along side Michele Lee and Buddy Hackett, Jones’ character drives his way to a win at the finish line with the help of the little white car. Jones donned the racing suit again for Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo where he and Don Knotts played a racing team at the Monte Carlo rally.
Monkeys, Go Home! stars Jones as the heir of a badly overrun olive farm in France. When he can’t find olive pickers to harvest his crop, he employs four monkeys from the Air Force space program. Jones plays another character that inherits a rundown Rocky Mountain ski resort in Snowball Express.
In Million Dollar Duck, he is a scientist who discovers his research duck lays golden eggs. The Ugly Dachshund has Jones starring as the dog owner of a Great Dane who thinks he is a lap dog after being raised by a dachshund.
Peter Ustinov and Jones share the screen in the 1968 movie Blackbeard’s Ghost. In The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, Jones plays along side upcoming Disney performer Kurt Russell.
In The Shaggy D.A., a grown up Wilby (played by Jones) decides to run for the office of the District Attorney. But when his campaign begins, he starts to morph into a mutt again when he least expects or wants it.