• PTC Mourns Passing of Dean Jones

    by  • September 3, 2015 • Family Friendly, Movies, Television • 16 Comments

    Dean Jones

    The entertainment world lost a beloved performer this week with the passing of Dean Jones.  Not only was Mr. Jones a Disney legend, generating almost a billion dollars in box office receipts through his family-friendly films; but he was a longtime Advisory Board Member of the Parents Television Council and a staunch supporter of our mission.

    “Dean was a special breed of human being. He was talented, warm, engaging, and when the camera turned on, so did he. He could make you laugh without making you cringe. A whole generation of children – and I’m among them – looked to him as our first Hollywood father figure. He was a wonderful friend and partner of the Parents Television Council, and we are saddened by his loss. Our hearts go out to his wife, Lory, his family, and all who loved him,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    Best-known for his roles in the live-action Disney comedies The Love Bug and its sequel Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Jones also starred in such Disney films as That Darn Cat, The Shaggy D.A., and The Million Dollar Duck. Jones also appeared in a total of 46 films, in addition to roles on TV and in several Broadway shows.

    Speaking with the PTC in 2007, Mr. Jones said, “A family film is a very particular and explicit form. Family films typically include adult principles that are moral, but they should be as intelligent, funny,  and intriguing as any other film.”

    (Note: Tim Winter has offered personally to share your remembrances with Dean’s wife of 42 years, Lory.)


    Also, see the following articles

    - Dean Jones’ obituary in the Associated Press

    - Washington Post story of Dean Jones’ life



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    16 Responses to PTC Mourns Passing of Dean Jones

    1. Spurwing Plover
      May 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      I remember him movies the original THAT DARN CAT(Not the silly remake)and THE LOVE BUG

    2. September 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      I was an atheist Jewish man who was searching for God to prove He didn’t exist , so I could shut up my Christian girlfriend. She had given me Dean’s book Under Running Laughter. Back in 1983, as I was alone, reading the book, literally mocking it as I did, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit of God, crying out to Jesus! I gave my heart to the Jewish Messiah that night. I wrote about this to Dean years ago – he responded that now he understood why the Lord had him write it. For the past 25 years I have been in full time traveling Messianic Jewish Ministry, and co-host the syndicated radio program Messianic Minutes, which was heard for years on the Church on the Way (Dean’s congregation) radio network.

    3. Tracey Sittig
      September 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      I’m so saddened by the passing of this Disney film legend. I grew up watching The Love Bug and That Darn Cat in theaters with my late parents and brother — such wonderful, warm memories! It was a kinder, gentler era in so many ways, and the joy of being thoroughly entertained without any concern about foul language or icky images was a blessing I didn’t fully understand until I was an adult and the entertainment industry began to change. I’m so grateful for the wholesome fun I experienced as a child in those darkened, transporting theaters! May Dean find all the blessings of heaven waiting for him, and may his family take comfort in this fine man’s legacy to all of us!

    4. Lisa E
      September 8, 2015 at 9:31 am

      I had a few tears when I heard the news this week. Thank you for such great memories of the Herbie movies with my dad and mom and siblings; then later with my own family. I saw him in the film accounts of Jesus at my children’s Sunday school recently as a disciple…a great way to remember Him. What a blessing to so many who did not even know him. May the Lord comfort you in your loss and bring up more Dean Jones to bless the world.

    5. Barbara Richard Mayers
      September 5, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      I knew Dean back in the early ’50′s when he was a young Sailor in the Navy in San Diego. When I performed with him, he would pick up my Mom (my accompanist) and me in his convertible to get us to the performance. He was the most delightful young man with high Hollywood ambitions even then! I just knew he would “make it big”! Following his career has brought our family such great joy. And, his testimony of his faith was tremendously encouraging!

    6. Joyce Johnson
      September 5, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Memories galore with this man’s Disney journey in our home. We would rush home from church to catch the evening Family Disney movies and many many were with Dean Jones. My all time favorite was Snowball Express. The world needs men and women actors and actresses like Dean Jones. There was substance in the roles he took…family meant something on the screen, great example of values taught in those movies he played in. My kids grew up on these old movie as well. They didn’t like it at first when I would buy or rent them, but they would laugh as much as I remember doing as a kid. Thank you for leaving a CLEAN slated legacy for future generations to watch, Mr. Jones. The best Disney actor can stand proud in the heavens!

    7. Melba Asberry
      September 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      To Mrs. Jones, I give my condolences and I have prayed for you and yours. When I first saw the announcement as I checked e-mail after work (it was in a Parent’s Television Council e-mail), I initially felt sadness. It immediately gave way to true happiness for him. I know he knew the Lord and I envisioned him with his Savior, experiencing great joy and absolutely no pain. This world is in a terrible condition and Dean is so much better off than those of us still here. It is my hope that those of us who also know the Savior will look to the Lord and obey His calling, being salt and light and drawing others to Jesus Christ as we live our lives, by His grace. Mr. Dean Jones made this world a better place to live. I enjoyed watching his movies; so entertaining, and safe fare for people of any age. I am glad we still have those films to enjoy. I look forward to the day we will all be with Christ and I expect I will have the chance to meet you and your loved one in eternity. I’d like to tell him how much I appreciate him. God bless you. With love, a fan.

    8. K Gilimete
      September 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      There are too many fond memories to choose just one. My mother took me to see every Disney movie that came to town, and Dean Jones was one of my first movie crushes. I loved them all, but “That Darn Cat” was probably my favorite. I have to admit I did enjoy his turn as the evil vet in “Beethoven” as well. Thank you for the many hours of fun, and RIP, Dean.

    9. Andrew Leclerc
      September 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm
    10. September 4, 2015 at 8:52 am

      My memories of Dean Jones go far back into my earliest years of viewing movies. Having worked as a film critic and journalist for over 20 years who specializes in family movies and entertainment, I often yearn for more of those family films that were able to bring the spontaneity and life to the screen that Dean Jones did. Dean was one of those hard working performers who had a huge list of credits but a very short list of accolades. His two Golden Globe nominations fell far short of the recognition he truly deserved. Just like we can all name our first grade teacher, there are literally tens of millions of people who would instantly recognize and remember Dean from the many movies he has entertained us with. He was truly a great performer and was able to extend his emotional involvement into a performance even when working with a less than perfect script. Comedy is one of the most difficult genres to capture. It’s easy to portray anger on the screen, but it’s tough to be funny. Dean was a wonderful comedian and straight man to so many other fine actors, yet he also could easily hold the screen on his own. As a young child I remember the many movies where Dean played the underdog protagonist who persisted through trials and setbacks until he reached his goal. Those performances worked to motivate me, and they still do. Dean set a high standard for morality in movies, and his work with the Parents Television Council was so very important in an age when so few celebrities are willing to take responsibility for their professional work. I would love to see this man recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here’s to one of the hardest working men in Hollywood — the wonderful and forever remembered Dean Jones.

    11. Goebel Berry
      September 4, 2015 at 5:56 am

      nothing but pleasant memories of a funny man who was I believe dedicated to quality work.I don’t watch movies repeatedly,but “Love Bug” is a classic.

    12. John Buxbaum
      September 4, 2015 at 5:54 am

      I am truly saddened at Dean’s passing. Some of my favourite memories as a child are of watching him on the screen in so many roles. It has been a joy bringing those to my boys and seeing them become their favourites as well. I especially loved finding some gems I didn’t get to see as a child and having us all fall in love with them now ( like Snowball Express). The joy will continue, and Dean will be long remembered, when I get to share him with my grandchildren. Thank you so much Dean for a lifetime of quality family entertainment…

    13. Debbie Baack
      September 4, 2015 at 5:21 am

      I have been an avid fan of Dean Jones since my teenage years, watching “Herbie the Love Bug”, “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo”, “That Darn Cat”, “The Shaggy D.A.” and “The Million Dollar Duck”. His movies brought much joy and laughter into our home. He was a great actor and will be missed greatly. It was wonderful to know he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior many years ago and is now with Him; what hope the family has in seeing him again someday.
      Sympathy and prayers to his wife and all the family.

    14. Todd Jarvis
      September 4, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Mr. Dean Jones made a genre that really doesnt exist in today’s upside down world. Back as a child when “The Million Dollar Duck” was one of my favorite films, I never would’ve believed there would come a time,at least in this country, when the adage “everything that’s wrong will be considered right and everything that’s right will be considered wrong ” would ever come to fruition. Well it has. Mr. Jones was a large contributor to what was right in this country and in this world. May the good Lord welcome him into the light of His face.

      • Paul Etheridge
        September 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        You are so right in your assessment of how this once great nation is being brought to its knees. Looking back, I used to notice, from time-to-time, subtle changes in the way our traditions and culture was becoming less and less about family and morals, and more about the almighty buck. If only we…all of us, had made a stand to stop it in its tracks. If only.

    15. Mr. and Mrs. Steve Harris
      September 4, 2015 at 3:32 am

      We are so saddened by the passing of father, husband, friend and great entertainer Dean Jones. We remember most all the Herbie movies. Such fun and clean movies for us as young teens then married with our own children watching Dean in Disney movies. Thank you for allowing to give us movie watchers his time and talent. Our prayers to your family.

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