Simon Jones (actor)

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Simon Jones
Born (1950-07-27) 27 July 1950 (age 64)
Charlton Park, Wiltshire, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present

Simon Jones (born 27 July 1950) is an English actor, most famous for his appearances in the television and radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which he played the lead role of Arthur Dent from 1978 to 2005. Its author Douglas Adams later said that he wrote the part of Arthur Dent with Simon Jones in mind.

He was featured in the 2005 movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in a cameo role.[1]

Life and career[edit]

As well as The Hitchhiker's Guide, Jones also appeared in various other TV series, including Brideshead Revisited (in which he played the Earl of Brideshead, or "Bridey", heir to the Marquess of Marchmain), and the second series of Blackadder (playing Sir Walter Raleigh). His films have included Club Paradise, Privates on Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, Green Card, Griffin & Phoenix and The Devil's Own.

Simon studied at King's College, Taunton before he studied at Cambridge University where he was a member of the Footlights and he met Douglas Adams. This led to Jones being cast in Out of the Trees and later The Hitchhiker's Guide and the film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. In The Meaning of Life Jones had a minor role as one of the guests at the dinner party. He has also appeared in some of the solo film projects of the members of Monty Python: American Friends, Brazil and 12 Monkeys.

Jones has appeared in several Broadway plays, including The Real Thing, as Max (1985), Benefactors, as Colin (1985), Getting Married, as Reginald Bridgenorth (1991), Private Lives, as Elyot Chase (1992), The Real Inspector Hound, as Moon, and The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, as Hamlet, which played together in (1992), The School for Scandal, as Joseph Surface (1995), Ring Round the Moon, as Romainville (1999) and Waiting in the Wings, as Perry Lascoe (1999). In 2009 he played in Blithe Spirit, as Dr. Bradman, with Angela Lansbury and Rupert Everett. Off-Broadway he has a long list of credits, and was nominated for the 1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his role in Privates on Parade.

In Regional theatre at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Simon starred as Christopher Gore in the American premier of Brian Friel's The Home Place in late 2007. He returned there in late 2008 to portray C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands.

Jones is also a voice actor and audio book presenter, with more than 70 titles to his credit. Among them are:

In 2003, he reprised his role as Arthur Dent in a new radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The same year he was involved in the filming of the movie version of the first novel, making a brief cameo appearance in the role of the holographic Magrathean answering machine/automated defence system.

He was heard in 2009 as master detective Sexton Blake on BBC Radio 2 in the six-part series, The Adventures of Sexton Blake!.

In addition to his work as an actor, Simon Jones is also a co-artistic director at New York Off-Broadway company The Actors Company Theatre (TACT), where he played the role of Jack in the play Home by David Storey.

On 25 November 2009, Jones met his cousin Daniel Craig after Craig's performance on Broadway in A Steady Rain for the first time. Daniel Craig is the grandson of Simon's aunt.[2]

Jones and his son Tim were hit by a car on 8 October 2010; though they suffered only bruises, he had to withdraw from the Actors Company Theater's production of Václav Havel’s Memorandum.[3]

He recovered enough to join in the Irish Repertory Theatre's production of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" -- a concert version of the Dylan Thomas work. This ran from December 8th - January 2nd of 2010.

2011 took him to Hartford, CT -- the Hartford Stage Theatre -- where he played 'Piero Soderini' in "Divine Rivalry" -- a wonderful new play by Michael Kramer, directed by Michael Wilson, and produced by the Shubert Organization. Simon had played this part in several previous readings of the play, and was delighted to finally be in a real, full production. Later in the year, he was in a new musical version of "Death Takes a Holiday", with book by Tom Meehan and Peter Stone, with music by Maury Yeston. It ran in New York City, at the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre, from July 7th to September 4th. A CD was released shortly afterwards.

From there, Simon returned to London where he attended the opening night of "No Naughty Bits", at the Hampstead Theatre on Sept. 13th. The play, by Steve Thompson, was the story of Simon's wife, Nancy Lewis, and the Monty Python team's lawsuit against ABC-TV in America.

2012 found Simon back in Minneapolis, where he played 'David Bliss', husband of Harriet Harris in "Hay Fever" at the Guthrie Theatre. Director this time was from London -- friend Chris Luscombe. After that, Simon returned to NYC, where he appeared (in the role of 'Sir Francis Beekman') ,with Megan Hilty starring in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" at the City Center's ENCORES! concert series, which also resulted in another CD.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]