||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|Born||Jonathan Bion Provost
March 12, 1950
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Occupation||Actor; Educator; Businessman|
|Spouse(s)||Sandy Goosens (1979-1993) (divorced) 2 children
Laurie Jacobson (1999-present)
Jon Provost (born Jonathan Bion Provost on March 12, 1950, in Los Angeles, California) is a former child actor of film and television. He is best known for his role as young Timmy Martin in the CBS series, Lassie.
Life and career
At the age of four, Provost was cast in the film The Country Girl (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. He then appeared in Back from Eternity (1956) with Anita Ekberg and Escapade in Japan (1957), again with Ekberg and an unknown (and uncredited) Clint Eastwood.
In 1957, Provost acquired the role of Timmy Martin in the CBS television series Lassie. He joined the show at the top of the fourth season as co-star to Tommy Rettig, Jan Clayton, and George Cleveland. Midpoint in the season, George Cleveland died and the show was completely revamped with Provost becoming the primary human star after the departures of Rettig and Clayton. On December 25, 1958, Provost and Lassie were holiday guests on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. This was the only time of the five years that the Ford program ran that an episode actually aired on Christmas Day. Ford sang the carol "Some Children See Him" for the first time on this episode.
For seven seasons, 1957–1964, audiences grew to love Timmy and his adventures with Lassie. In 1964, however, Provost was fourteen and chose not to renew his contract though Campbell's Soup Company, the sponsor, wanted three more years. With Provost out of the picture, the format of the series was revamped. The Martins were sent to Australia to teach agriculture while Lassie was forced to remain in the United States because of quarantine regulations. Robert Bray was then cast as forest ranger Corey Stuart, and became Lassie's new owner.
Provost's career as a television child star ended, and he left show business when he was eighteen. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and worked for a time in the field of special education. Later, he sold real estate in Sonoma County north of San Francisco and donated his time to various causes.
In 1990, Provost was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for his role as Timmy Martin on the original Lassie series, and in 1989, he returned to television with a recurring role on The New Lassie series as real estate agent Steve McCullough. In a nostalgic episode, he appeared together with Tommy Rettig. In another episode, June Lockhart reprised her role as Ruth Martin. In that episode, it was revealed that Timmy was never properly adopted by the Martins and was forced to remain in the U.S. when his foster parents moved to Australia. He was then subsequently adopted by the McCullough family and began going by his middle name of Steven (Steve).
Today, Provost continues to attend celebrity conventions and autograph parties. He sometimes appears on network news programs to speak about classical television and American culture. In 1994, Provost received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Blvd.
His memoirs, Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story, were released in November 2007 (Cumberland House Publishing, ISBN 1-58182-619-2). In August 2008, Provost was honored with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival.
- 1970: The Secret of the Sacred Forest
- 1969: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, starring Kurt Russell
- 1966: This Property Is Condemned
- 1964: The Wayfarers [TV]
- 1964: The Disappearance [TV]
- 1962: Lassie's Great Adventure (The Odyssey) [TV]
- 1957: Escapade in Japan
- 1956: Toward the Unknown
- 1956: All Mine to Give
- 1956: Back from Eternity
- 1954: The Country Girl
- 1953: So Big
- 25, 1958 "The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford". ernieford.com. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
- Provost, Jon. Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story. Cumberland, 2007.
- "11th Annual Youth in Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
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