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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Remembering Dean Jones 1931 - 2015

The first film I ever saw in a theater was Disney's The Love Bug in 1969 starring Dean Jones, who became my favorite movie star as a child. The actor, who died Tuesday at age 84, made his film debut as an "uncredited" soldier in the 1956 Paul Newman film, Somebody Up There Likes Me. He went on to have a long and successful career, and below I've selected some videos to celebrate his life.

He appeared in the 1956 film, The Great American Pastime, with Tom Ewell and Ann Miller.

His first starring role on television was in the 1962-63 NBC sitcom, Ensign O'Toole.

He appeared in the 1960 Broadway production of the comedy, Under the Yum Yum Tree, as well as the 1963 film version with Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley and Paul Lynde.

In October 1965 Valiant Records released his single, "You'll Walk In the Sun", which was the first song composed by the Academy Award-winning Sherman Brothers since Mary Poppins.

His first Disney film, That Darn Cat! (1965), was co-star Hayley Mills' last one (he also appeared in the 1997 remake).

He and Suzanne Pleshette starred in the 1966 Disney film, The Ugly Dachshund.

He and Yvette Mimieux starred in the 1967 Disney film, Monkeys, Go Home!

He and Michele Lee starred in the 1969 Disney film, The Love Bug.

He starred in the 1970 Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Company, but he left the show soon after it opened due to the stress of his divorce proceedings. His performance was preserved on the original cast album, and D.A. Pennebaker filmed the recording session for his documentary, Original Cast Album: Company.

He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for the 1971 Disney film, The Million Dollar Duck.

He starred in the 1971 CBS sitcom, The Chicago Teddy Bears.

He and Suzanne Pleshette starred in the 1976 Disney film, The Shaggy D.A.

He starred in the 1977 Disney film, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, with Don Knotts.

He starred in the 1977 CBS movie, Once Upon a Brothers Grimm, with Paul Sand, Ruth Buzzi, Teri Garr and Chita Rivera.

He starred in the 1982 CBS sitcom, Herbie, the Love Bug (he also appeared in the 1997 ABC remake/sequel, The Love Bug).

In 1986 he starred in his second and last Broadway musical, Into the Light, which closed after only six performances. But he continued to make movies, including Other People's Money (1991), Beethoven (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994) and several Christian films (he became a born-again Christian in 1973).

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