Allan Jones (actor)
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Jones in 1945.
|Born||Theodore Allen Jones
October 14, 1907
Old Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
|Died||June 27, 1992
New York, New York, USA
|Occupation||opera singer, actor|
|Spouse(s)||Marjorie Buel (1929-1936) (divorced)
Irene Hervey (1936-1957) (divorced)
Mary Florsheim Picking
Esther Marie Villavincie
(1967-1992) (his death)
Life and career
Jones, of Welsh ancestry, appeared on Broadway a few times, including 1933's Roberta and the short-lived 1934 revival of Bitter Sweet. He starred in many film musicals during the 1930s and 1940s. The best-known of these were Show Boat (1936), and The Firefly (1937) in which he sang "Donkey Serenade." It became his signature song. He is now best remembered, however, as the romantic straight man to the Marx Brothers in their first two Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films: A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races.
On the strength of his appearance in A Night at the Opera, he won the coveted role of Gaylord Ravenal in the 1936 film version of Show Boat (opposite Irene Dunne) over such screen musical favorites as Nelson Eddy and John Boles. It would be Jones's most distinguished screen role in which, under the direction of James Whale, he displayed dramatic acting ability, as well as musical talent.
He made a brief appearance in the 1936 Nelson Eddy - Jeanette MacDonald film Rose Marie, singing music from Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, but according to Merchant of Dreams, Charles Higham's biography of Louis B. Mayer, Eddy, who apparently considered Jones a rival and a potential threat, asked that most of Jones's footage in Rose Marie be cut, including his rendition of the great Puccini aria E lucevan le stelle - and MGM agreed to Eddy's demand.
In 1940, he moved to Universal for two musicals, both with scores by immortal composers: The Boys from Syracuse, with the stage score (severely cut) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and One Night in the Tropics, with an original score by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields which produced no hit songs. Following those, he slipped to leads in B musicals, two at Paramount, then eight at Universal, including a re-teaming with Kitty Carlisle in Larceny with Music (1943). The same year, he briefly returned to A’s by guesting, as himself, in the Olsen and Johnson musical Crazy House, where he again performed "Donkey Serenade."
Jones was never a dentist, as many websites report. He had an active singing career in movies, television, on the stage, and in nightclubs from 1929 until his retirement.
Jones died in New York City, aged 84 from lung cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were given either to a friend or family.
- A Night at the Opera (1935) (with the Marx Brothers)
- Show Boat (1936)
- A Day at the Races (1937) (with the Marx Brothers)
- The Firefly (1937)
- Everybody Sing (1938) (with Judy Garland and Fanny Brice)
- The Great Victor Herbert (1939)
- One Night in the Tropics (1940) (film debut of Abbott and Costello)
- The Boys from Syracuse (1940)
- There's Magic in Music (1941)
- Allan Jones at the IBDB database, accessed May 13, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allan Jones (actor).|
- Allan Jones Tribute
- Allan Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- Allan Jones at the Internet Broadway Database
- "Allan Jones". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Photographs of Allan Jones