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SYFY WIRE the invisible man

Lois & Clark, Invisible Man star Eddie Jones passes away at 84

By Benjamin Bullard
The cast of Lois and Clark on ABC

Eddie Jones, the gentle, reliable emotional anchor for Dean Cain’s sometimes-troubled Man of Steel in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, has reportedly passed away in California. He was 84 years old.

As Lois & Clark’s Pa Kent, Jones made an indelible impression on fans of the 1990s ABC show as the kindly and level-headed Jonathan Kent, the Man of Steel's earthly father and, often, his impromptu advisor when super-sized problems vexed Cain's Superman. A vital piece of the family-oriented L&C dynamic, Jones appeared in all 87 episodes through the show’s four-season run.

Jones’ lengthy and varied TV, film, and theatre résumé dates to the late 1970s, taking him through major appearances in mainstream hits like Seabiscuit, A League of Their Own, and Trading Places, among many more. But his broad face, imposing presence, and versatility in portraying both authoritarian and sympathetic characters also made him a sought-after actor for genre roles throughout his career.

In Disney’s The Rocketeer (1991), Jones played Malcolm, the affable, bumbling airplane mechanic who gets a straight-from-the comics rescue scene thanks to the jet pack-wielding Cliff (Billy Campbell). Jones also played Big Apple police chief O’Brien in 1984 cult horror hit C.H.U.D., using his law enforcement position to try to keep the subterranean terrors a secret from a panicky public.

Early SYFY fans also remember Jones for his role on The Invisible Man, a high-production series that ran on the channel from 2000 to 2002. Jones played The Official (aka Charles Borden), the enigmatic leader of The Agency — the generically-named shadow government research group that supported the sci-fi skullduggery of Invisible Man Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca). 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jones passed away on July 6 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Born in Washington, Pa. in 1934, Jones reportedly got his start in acting by hitchhiking to California and getting a job at a service station — where an agent spotted and recruited him. Jones remained active as an actor throughout his life, with his most recent appearances coming in episodes of NBC’s Aquarius, as well as HBO’s Veep.