Jory is a child of Hollywood character actors as his father Victor Jory played Jonas Wilkerson, the scheming overseer in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. Jory received his Actor's Equity card as a young child.
He was at the forefront of the regional theater movement of the 1960s, which began with the opening of the Guthrie Theater in 1963, showing that not all theater talent was centralized in New York City and Los Angeles. Jory served as artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre from 1965 to 1966; his contract was terminated once the fledgling theater hit rough financial waters. In 1969, he took over the helm of Actors Theatre of Louisville, a small regional theater just five years old. Under his leadership, it became one of the top theaters in the country. Jory's major accomplishment was the foundation and cultivation of the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, beginning in 1976. It has since produced a number of outstanding plays including The Gin Game (1978), Crimes of the Heart (1981), Cementville (1991) and Dinner with Friends (1998), not to mention almost everything Jane Martin has ever written. In 2017, Jory began teaching at the UCLA Department of Theater as a Visiting Professor.
Retirement and honours
Jory retired from Actors Theatre in 2000. That fall, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama as Professor of Acting and Directing. Also, in 2000, Jory was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. He is the President's Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Asked if Jane Martin's identity will be revealed after her death, Jory has stated with a laugh, "That's a press conference no one will come to. By the time I die, no one will care anyway."
- Actor's Choice: Monologues for Men Playscripts, Inc.
- Actor's Choice: Scenes for Teens Playscripts, Inc.
- Anne of Green Gables Playscripts, Inc.
- Darcy and Elizabeth Playscripts, Inc.
- The Drama School From Hell Playscripts, Inc.
- Emma Playscripts, Inc.
- The Gift of the Magi Playscripts, Inc.
- Passing Periods at Pomegranate Prep Pioneer Drama Service, 2018
- Pride and Prejudice Playscripts, Inc.
- The Prom Game Playscripts, Inc.
- Salvador Dali at the Beach Playscripts, Inc.
- Sense and Sensibility Playscripts, Inc.
- Sherlock in Love Pioneer Drama Service, 2019
- Sixty Second Singles Playscripts, Inc.
- The Whatsit Pioneer Drama Service, 2017
- 20/20 : twenty one-act plays from twenty years of the Humana Festival / edited by Michele Volansky and Michael Bigelow Dixon; foreword by Jon Jory. Smith and Kraus, Lyme, NH ISBN 978-1-880399-98-9
- Tips. ideas for actors Smith & Kraus Pub Inc, 2000, ISBN 978-1-57525-202-5
- Tips. ideas for directors Smith & Kraus Pub Inc, 2002, ISBN 978-1-57525-241-4
- Tips II. more ideas for actors Smith & Kraus Pub Inc, 2004, ISBN 978-1-57525-323-7
- Pride and Prejudice: A Romantic Comedy Playscripts Inc, 2006
- University: a full evening of theatre in ten parts Dramatic Publishing, 1983
- Love, Death and the Prom Dramatic Publishing, 1991, ISBN 978-0-87129-120-2
- "Theater family comes together to celebrate Hall of Fame honorees". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- ""A Two Decade Old Mystery: Who is Jane Martin?"". Archived from the original on 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-04-25.