Dean Jones, the genial star of such Disney family films as The Love Bug, That Darn Cat!, and The Shaggy D.A., died of complications from Parkinson’s disease Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 84.
Jones’ publicist Richard Hoffman confirmed the news to EW.
Beginning with a bit part in the 1956 boxing drama Somebody Up There Likes Me, Jones appeared in 46 movies over the course of his career, playing a racecar driver in Love Bug and its sequel (Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo), an FBI agent in Darn Cat, and a shapeshifting attorney in Shaggy D.A. His other film credits include Jailhouse Rock, Under The Yum-Yum Tree, Beethoven, and Clear and Present Danger.
He also performed in five Broadway shows, including 1960’s There Was a Little Girl with Jane Fonda, and numerous television series and specials.
Born Dean Carroll Jones on Jan. 25, 1931, in Decatur, Ala., Jones served in the Navy during the Korean War and attended Asbury University in Kentucky. He began his showbiz career as the host of a local radio program, Dean Jones Sings, and as a producer of stage shows.
Jones toured in the one-man play St. John in Exile in 1986 and was inducted into the Disney Legends hall of fame in 1995.
Survivors include his wife, Lory Basham Jones, three children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
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