Jeffrey Jones in 2012
|Born||Jeffrey Duncan Jones
September 28, 1946
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Education||Putney School, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art|
|Alma mater||Lawrence University|
|Notable work||Amadeus, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Beetlejuice, The Crucible|
Jeffrey Duncan Jones (born September 28, 1946) is an American actor best known for his roles as Edward R. Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Charles Deetz in Beetlejuice (1988), Skip Tyler in The Hunt for Red October (1990), and A.W. Merrick in Deadwood (2004–2006). His career started in Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota and advanced to London and Broadway. In film and television, Jones has had many roles which capitalized on his deadpan portrayal of characters in unusual situations, often to comic effect. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Joseph II in Amadeus (1984) and a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble cast of Deadwood.
In 2003, Jones pleaded no contest to a felony charge of soliciting a 14-year-old boy to pose for nude photographs. Since then, he has appeared in two films and one television series.
After graduating from the Putney School in 1964, Jones enrolled at Lawrence University as a premed student, where his performances in university productions brought him to the attention of Tyrone Guthrie, who recruited him for the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He then went to London in 1969 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, followed by a three-year stint with the Stratford Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.
His stage career included more than 125 productions, starting with the Guthrie Theater, then internationally in South America, Canada, and London, and ultimately in New York's Broadway theatre, appearing with Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Walken, David Bowie and Meryl Streep. Productions included, Cloud 9, A Flea in Her Ear, Romeo and Juliet and The Elephant Man. His transition from stage to film began in 1970.
Film and television career
Jones began acting in small parts in film and television in the 1970s. In his best-known roles as Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus, Charles Deetz in Beetlejuice, and Edward R. Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, his dead-pan expression and distinctive face bring a comic flavor to his characters through their reactions to the situations in which they find themselves, more so than the wit in their scripted lines. The New York Times' biographic profile says of Jones, "Although he has tried to steer clear of playing only sinister roles, the actor's imposing height, bugged-out eyes, easy sneer, and shock of reddish-blond hair give him vaguely devilish features that have prompted villain typecasting. However, the actor is also widely respected and considered a boon wherever he appears." The profile describes his portrayals variously as a "hissable, cartoonish high school principal" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a "good-natured father" in Beetlejuice, "an interplanetary freedom fighter" in Mom and Dad Save the World, a "demon stand-in" in Stay Tuned, "evil bespectacled twins" in Out on a Limb, plus other personae in a variety of other roles
Miloš Forman cast Jones as Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus (1984), an adaptation of the Peter Shaffer play of the same name, upon seeing his work in the Lucille Lortel Theatre production of Cloud 9. According to one reviewer, he portrayed the Emperor "as a superficial and self-absorbed ruler who can't tell the difference between a great opera and a mediocre one". New York Times critic, Vincent Canby, praised Jones' performance as the Emperor, citing the film's most memorable line, when the Emperor complains of Die Entführung aus dem Serail that "there are too many notes". Jones' performance earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Jones' performance as Edward R. Rooney in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) made him a cultural icon. Rooney, self-important and obsessed with catching the chronically truant Ferris Bueller, became a symbol of pomposity and authoritarian hatefulness. In a movie review, the New York Times characterized Jones' performance "fine cartoon like ferocity", wherein his character "gets scratched, bitten, attacked by ferocious dogs and covered with mud while pursuing his weaker, but craftier, prey, and emerges each time bruised but undaunted, thinking up some new (and futile) plan." The review likened Jones' role as akin to that of Wile E. Coyote as a character who is fated to be unable to catch The Road Runner (Ferris Bueller). Jones expressed concern about being remembered more for this role than for Amadeus. Jones further said, regarding the premise of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, "What's amazing about Ferris Bueller, is that we're asked to, and do, sympathise with a kid whose only complaint in life is that his sister got a car for her birthday and he got a computer."
In the horror comedy film Beetlejuice (1988), Jones and Catherine O'Hara portrayed a married couple (Charles and Delia Deetz) who unwittingly become co-owners of a haunted house. To highlight this couple's status as bores, director Tim Burton casts Dick Cavett and Robert Goulet to appear as their guests at a dinner party, at which the ghosts of the previous owners cause everyone to sing "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)". Jones further collaborated with Burton on the films Ed Wood (1994), in which Jones portrays The Amazing Criswell, and Sleepy Hollow (1998).
Jones portrayed Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes spoof film Without a Clue (1988). In The Hunt for Red October (1990), he plays ex-submarine commander Skip Tyler, who identifies the Red October's propulsion system to Alec Baldwin's Jack Ryan. He also appeared as real life figure Thomas Putnam in The Crucible (1996). As lumber mogul Joe Potter, Jones is the primary antagonist of the Eddie Murphy comedy Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001).
One of Jones's earlier television roles was in an episode of the 1976 CBS series Sara. In 1986, he showcased his villain persona in the role of the sinister Mister Acme (owner of Acme Toxic Waste), in the satirical comedy miniseries Fresno, with Carol Burnett, Charles Grodin and Dabney Coleman. In 1995, Jones co-starred with Tyra Banks, Kathy Najimy, and Kevin Pollak in the video storyline portion of the Walt Disney World Tomorrowland attraction ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. He also hosted Disneys D-TV Monster Hits musical special, as The Magic Mirror (Snow White). He has had guest roles on a number of television series, including Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, and Batman: The Animated Series. In 1989, he starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom The People Next Door, as a cartoonist whose imagination could make things come to life. His most prominent television role is that of newspaper publisher A.W. Merrick on the acclaimed HBO series Deadwood (2004–2006). Along with the show's ensemble cast, Jones was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Subsequent to his legal troubles, Jones has become progressively less active as a performer. Following his appearance in the golf comedy Who's Your Caddy? (2007), he was absent from film and television for several years. He returned with an uncredited cameo as Collier's editor Charles Colebaugh in the Emmy-nominated HBO original film Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012). His most recent onscreen role is that of scientist Gladstone in the disaster film 10.0 Earthquake (2014).
In 2015, Jones had a minor success with the New American Theatre production of 63 Trillion, directed by Steve Zuckerman. The Los Angeles Times praised his portrayal of financial adviser Dick as having "malevolent gusto that Satan himself might envy."
Jones returned to the stage in 2018, portraying elderly patriarch Bradley in a production of the A. R. Gurney play The Cocktail Hour, staged at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Jones was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Ruth (née Schooley) and Douglas Bennett Jones. His mother was an art historian, who urged him towards a career in acting. His father died during Jones's childhood.
One interviewer found Jones to value anonymity and the enjoyment of everyday tasks, like home repairs, and found him to be uninterested in status symbols and fan adulation. In that 1989 interview, Jones pointed out that greater public recognition actually makes it more difficult to transition between roles and allow the character to come to the fore and the actor to recede from view.
In 2002, Jones was arrested for possession of child pornography and accused of soliciting a 14-year-old boy to pose for nude photographs. In 2003, he pleaded no contest to a felony charge of soliciting a minor. At the same time, the misdemeanor charge of possession of child pornography was dropped. His attorney emphasized that there was no allegation of improper physical contact. His punishment was five years probation, counseling, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Jones was arrested twice for failing to update his sex offender status, in Florida (2004) and in California (2010).
During production of Who's Your Caddy? (2007) in Aiken, South Carolina, Jones' record became the subject of community complaint. Upon learning of his involvement, locals insisted that the public should have been alerted, considering that families were being invited to visit the set.
Following his 2010 sentencing, Jones has appeared sporadically in public and at entertainment industry events. He was photographed with Beetlejuice co-star Winona Ryder at the opening of the 2011 "Tim Burton at LACMA" exhibit and signed autographs for Internet personality "Mike the Fanboy" in 2015. In July 2016, Jones posed with Justin Bieber for a photo that was shared to Bieber's Instagram; the post (captioned "Ferris buellers day off") was later deleted.
|1982||The Soldier||U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense|
|1983||Easy Money||Clive Barlow|
|1984||Amadeus||Emperor Joseph II|
|1985||Transylvania 6-5000||Mayor Lepescu|
|1986||Ferris Bueller's Day Off||Edward R. Rooney|
|1986||Howard the Duck||Dr. Walter Jenning / Dark Overlord|
|1987||The Hanoi Hilton||Major Fischer|
|1988||Without a Clue||Inspector George Lestrade|
|1989||Who's Harry Crumb?||Elliot Draison|
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||Dr. Skip Tyler|
|1992||Out on a Limb||Matt Skearns / Peter Van Der Haven|
|1992||Mom and Dad Save the World||Dick Nelson|
|1993||Heaven & Earth||Minister||Uncredited|
|1994||Ed Wood||The Amazing Criswell|
|1996||The Crucible||Thomas Putnam|
|1997||The Devil's Advocate||Eddie Barzoon|
|1997||The Pest||Gustav Shank|
|1997||Santa Fe||Dr. Raskin||Uncredited|
|1999||Stuart Little||Uncle Crenshaw|
|1999||Sleepy Hollow||Reverend Steenwyck|
|2000||Company Man||Senator Biggs|
|2001||Dr. Dolittle 2||Joe Potter|
|2001||How High||Vice President|
|2002||Par 6||Lloyd Bator Jenkins|
|2007||Who's Your Caddy?||Cummings|
|1976||The Adams Chronicles||Miniseries|
|1977||Great Performances||Sergeant Wilson||1 episode|
|1978||Interrogation in Budapest||TV film|
|1983||A Fine Romance||Harr||TV film|
|1983||Remington Steele||Clifford Conant||1 episode|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Carl Wilkerson||1 episode|
|1986||If Tomorrow Comes||Budge Hollander||1 episode, miniseries|
|1986||George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation||Thomas Jefferson||TV film|
|1986||Fresno||Mr. Acme||2 episodes, miniseries|
|1986||Amazing Stories||John Baldwin||1 episode|
|1987||Disney's DTV Monster Hits||Magic Mirror||TV special|
|1989||The People Next Door||Walter Kellogg||10 episodes|
|1993||Tales from the Crypt||Professor Finley||1 episode|
|1995||Batman: The Animated Series||Nivens / Vinnie||1 episode|
|1995||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Nurse / Man in White||1 episode|
|1995||The Avenging Angel||Brother Milton Long||TV film|
|1996||Eek! The Cat||Sloth||1 episode|
|1998||The Outer Limits||Dr. Scott Perkins||1 episode|
|2001||Till Dad Do Us Part||Brady||TV film|
|2001–2006||Invader Zim||Various roles||4 episodes|
|2002||The Zeta Project||Detective Marcus||1 episode|
|2002||Justice League||Sir Swami||2 episodes|
|2004–2006||Deadwood||A. W. Merrick||35 episodes|
|2012||Hemingway & Gellhorn||Charles Colebaugh||Uncredited, TV film|
|1995||Bombmeister||The Bombmeister||Interactive movie (unreleased)|
|1995||ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter||L.C. Clench||Theme park attraction|
|1998||Fallout 2||Dick Richardson||Video game|
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- Berardinelli, James (2003). "Amadeus". Reelviews.
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- Liebross, Audrey. "BWW Review: A Qualified Yes to THE COCKTAIL HOUR". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
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- "Who is Julian Coutts?". Searchdictionaries.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
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- Wenn (July 9, 2003). "Jeffrey Jones Pleads No Contest To Porn Charges". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
Jones, 56, says, "This concludes a really painful chapter in my life. I'm sorry that this incident was allowed to occur. Such an event has never happened before and it will never happen again."
- "'Ferris Bueller' actor faces felony charge". MSNBC.com. June 30, 2010.
- Black, Caroline (September 29, 2010). "Jeffrey Jones Guilty: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Actor Didn't Update Sex Offender Status". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
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- "Tim Burton". LACMA.org. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
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- "BUELLER! Meeting Ed Rooney Himself! Jeffrey Jones! Along With Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Ken Lerner! Weeds Star Jack Stehlin! And More!". MiketheFanboy.com. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Flint, Hanna. "Justin Bieber took a photo with Ferris Beuller's Day Off star Jeffrey Jones (AKA a registered sex offender)". Metro.co.uk. Metro. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
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- Wilson, F. Paul (31 March 2009). Aftershock & Others: 16 Oddities. Tom Doherty Associates. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4299-6817-1.
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