Dean Jones, 'The Love Bug' Star, Dies at 84

by Reuters /  / Updated 
Image: Dean Jones
Dean Jones while on set for the film, "Any Wednesday," in New York City on May 24, 1966.Dan Grossi / AP

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LOS ANGELES — Actor Dean Jones, best known for his acting work in such Disney films as "The Love Bug" and "That Darn Cat," died of Parkinson's disease Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Image: Dean Jones
Dean Jones while on set for the film, "Any Wednesday," in New York City on May 24, 1966.Dan Grossi / AP

In addition to his appearances in films such as "Under the Yum-Yum Tree," "The Shaggy D.A.," "The Million Dollar Duck," "Snowball Express," "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" and "Beethoven," Jones also had roles in five Broadway shows and appeared in numerous television series and specials. He appeared in 46 films over the course of his career.

The actor made his Broadway debut in "There Was a Little Girl" with Jane Fonda in 1960, and went on to star in Broadway's "Under the Yum-Yum Tree" that same year, before starring in the 1963 film adaptation with Jack Lemmon.

Jones' other Broadway credits include the original role of "Bobby" in Harold Prince/Stephen Sondheim's "Company," and Cap'n Andy in a national tour of "Showboat."

MGM signed Jones to a contract, and he began with a small role in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." He later played a DJ in 1957 Elvis Presley movie "Jailhouse Rock."

Other film credits include "Any Wednesday," "The New Interns," "Never So Few," "Other People's Money," "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July," "A Brush With Time" and Tom Clancy's "Clear and Present Danger."

Jones was born in Decatur, Ala., and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He attended Kentucky's Asbury University, which awarded him an honorary degree in 2002.

The actor was inducted into the Disney Legends Hall of Fame in 1995.

Jones is survived by his wife, writer Lory Basham Jones; three children, Caroline Jones, Deanna Demaree and Michael Pastick; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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