Simon Jones (actor)
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Jones as an upset Arthur Dent, watching his home being demolished in the first episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy BBC TV series
27 July 1950 |
Charlton Park, Wiltshire, England, UK
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.
Life and career 
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 --'Bridey'--, the 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:
- The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul for Simon and Schuster Audioworks for the US market
- Star Trek: Cacophony, playing Lt. Commander Stewart Mulligan in an original "Captain Sulu Adventures" audio programme, again for Simon and Schuster
- The Salmon of Doubt, for New Millennium Audio
- Douglas Adams at the BBC, for BBC Audio
- The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolemy's Gate, The Ring of Solomon
- A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullins, which won the Audio Publishers Association's 2006 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction.
- And Another Thing..., the sixth installment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, written by Eoin Colfer.
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.
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.
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 Vaclav Havel’s Memorandum.
Selected filmography 
- Official website
- Simon Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- Simon Jones at the Internet Broadway Database
- Simon Jones at Internet Off-Broadway Database
- BBC - Radio 4 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Simon Jones
- Simon Jones interview at TVParty.com