Actor Dean Jones from one of my favorite movies as a kid and one of the only movies to star a car with a distinct personality, has passed away at the age of 84. I think it's pretty clear that the Alabama-born actor, That Darn Cat! and The Love Bug star, and Korean War veteran is in a better place and state after suffering from Parkinson's disease in the latter part of his life.
Jones' publicist Richard Hoffman confirmed the news on Wednesday, letting it be known that the actor passed in Los Angeles with his family by his side.
Jones started his career in film in 1956 with Somebody Up There Likes Me. He followed that up with a decade or so picking up some supporting roles throughout film and TV. Walt Disney took note of his talent in Ensign O'Toole. It was That Darn Cat! that helped his career take off with lighthearted Disney roles.
He also starred in nine more Disney films including Monkeys, Go Home, Million Dollar Duck, The Shaggy D.A., Snowball Express and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. Here's what he had to say to the Los Angeles Times about the films he partook in and the affect he wanted to have on his audiences...
"I see something in them that is pure form. Just entertainment. No preaching. We're always looking for social significance but maybe people just like to be entertained."
In 1995, Jones was was deservedly inducted into the Disney Legends Hall of Fame. 84 years is a nice, full life and I'm glad he touched my life, in particular with The Love Bug - a true classic.