Claude Earl Jones, a character actor who appeared in such films as Bride of Re-Animator, Evilspeak, and Miracle Mile, and on several television shows including the original Battlestar Galactica, Max Headroom, and Quantum Leap, died on Nov. 25 of complications from dementia. He was 86.
His wife, Nancy Jones, confirmed his passing to SYFY WIRE.
Born on Apr. 29, 1933, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jones got his first acting job after he went to a casting session to support a friend. He then studied acting at Phoenix College and the Pasadena Playhouse. After earning his master's degree in theater from Cal State Los Angeles in 1966, Jones taught theater at Ganesha High School in Pomona, California, from 1969 to 1972.
In 1978, Jones played LaCerta, the boss of Red Eye in the Battlestar Galactica episode, “The Lost Warrior.” He starred in the made-for-TV horror film Dark Night of the Scarecrow for CBS in 1981, and appeared in the horror film, Evilspeak, starring Clint Howard, also in 1981.
In Bride of Re-Animator (1989, shown up top), Jones played Lt. Leslie Chapham, the cop who dies of a heart attack thanks to Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), and is then re-animated.
Although film and television acting was his vocation, theater was always Jones' passion.
“While I certainly enjoyed some of the better roles I did in film like LaCerta, the stage has always been my home. And now that I have the time (and the money), I can afford to do what I prefer,” Jones said in an interview in 2007.
Jones is survived by his wife, Nancy; his sons, Steve and Tawn; his daughter, Julie; and his stepdaughter, Beth. Donations can be made in his memory to the Theatrical Workforce Development Program at the Roundabout Theatre Company.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)