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Entertainment Weekly


Justified actor Mickey Jones dies at 76

Vivien Killilea/WireImage

Posted on

Mickey Jones, the character actor best known for his recurring roles in Justified and Home Improvement, died early Wednesday morning at the age of 76, a representative for the actor has confirmed.

Jones was born in Houston, Texas and established himself as a professional drummer before leaving high school, soon after working with Trini Lopez and, by 1964, Johnny Rivers; at one point, he traveled with Rivers’ band and Ann Margret to perform in Vietnam. Years later he was offered a job as Bob Dylan’s drummer, a position he accepted but which was short-lived due to Dylan’s hiatus following a 1967 motorcycle accident. Jones’ musical career lasted more than two decades, amassing more than a dozen Gold-certified records in that time.

To audiences, however, Jones is likely best known for his acting work. He memorably played Pete Bilker of K&B Construction on 13 episodes of Home Improvement‘s run, and more recently starred as Rodney “Hot Rod” Durham, a player in the Harlan County crime scene, in the second and third seasons of Justified. Jones also guested on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Workaholics, among others, and appeared in films such as Shattered Lies, Sling Blade, Tin CupThe Beverly Hillbillies, and the original Total Recall.

Jones is survived by his wife, Phyllis Jean Starr, and their two children.