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Mickey Jones, Total Recall’s miner on a Mars-bound train, dies at 76

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Feb 7, 2018

Character actor Mickey Jones, who enjoyed a lengthy career spanning music, television, and film, has passed away following an extended illness, according to multiple media reports. Jones was 76 years old.

Born in Houston, Texas, Jones had a memorably tough visage that lent itself well to masculine roles both villainous and amiable. Genre fans may remember his turn as the “burly miner” character in Paul Verhoeven’s original version of Total Recall, in which he encountered Quaid (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) on a Mars-bound train. 

Jones also played Chris Faber in the television miniseries V, leading resistance teams on Earth in the struggle against the series’ signature lizard-like alien invaders.

His career, though, was never defined by genre. Jones had turns in television projects as varied as CHiPs, Charlie’s Angels, ALFThe A-Team, Baywatch, Northern Exposure, and, most memorably, recurring roles as Peter Bilker on Home Improvement and Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham on Justified

On the big screen, Jones appeared in a genre-hopping assortment of films, including  Stand by Your Man, Misfits of Science, Power, Passion, and Murder (alongside Michelle Pfeiffer), and Sling Blade.

On the musical side, Jones’ career began before he’d even graduated from high school. A drummer, he began playing professionally while in his teens and soon found himself working with legends like Trini Lopez, Johnny Rivers, and Kenny Rogers, according to Entertainment Weekly

Jones’ musical relationship with Rogers also led to one of his very first acting roles, starring alongside Rogers and Diane Baker in the 1975 made-for-TV movie The Dream Makers.