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Gordon Jones (April 5, 1911 – June 20, 1963) was a theater, film and television actor of American nationality. Character actor and informal member of the John Wayne interpreter company, he is known for playing the Lou Costello television nemesis, “Mike the Cop”, and for playing the Green Hornet in the first two film serials based on the character of the radio program.
His full name was Gordon Wynnivo Jones, and he was born in Alden, Iowa. Jones was a student and football star at the University of California, Los Angeles, playing a few seasons as a professional.
He began his artistic career with small roles in Wesley Ruggles and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s film The Monkey’s Paw (1933), and in Sidney Lanfield’s Red Salute (1935), being hired in 1937 by RKO Pictures. After working on The Green Hornet, Jones starred in My Sister Eileen (1942) and Flying Tigers (1943), a John Wayne war action film among the most popular at that time. With this film he started a 20-year partnership with Wayne, who had also been a football player at the University of Southern California.
Filmed the previous productions, Jones served in the War, remaining associated with the service after the end, and encouraging students to enter the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Returning to his career in the late 1940s, Jones made starring roles in John Wayne’s films Big Jim McLain (1952) and Island in the Sky (1953).
At that time, and due to the passage of time, Jones had to start playing roles as an actor of character. Thus, he developed a comic villain role that fit the work of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. His association with the couple began in The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947), continuing in the television series of the 1950s The Abbott and Costello Show, which aired for two seasons. In the show, Jones played “Mike the Cop”, Costello’s antagonist.
Jones continued with his film work, acting in films like the science fiction film The Monster That Challenged the World or the comedy of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh Vacations without a girlfriend, while participating in television productions like The Real McCoys or The Rifleman. Jones also made two highly successful Disney films in the early 1960s, A Sage in the Clouds and Son of Flubber. In addition, he starred with Mitzi Green and Virginia Gibson in the sitcom So This Is Hollywood (1955), and had the recurring role of Butch Barton in the early days of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
Gordon Jones was again part of John Wayne’s company in 1963, playing Douglas, the antagonist bureaucrat of G. W. McLintock in the western McLintock !. Jones died in Tarzana, California, on June 12 of that year, five months before the premiere of the tape, due to an acute myocardial infarction. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Jones was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1623 Vine Street, for his television work.
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