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Christopher Jones

( b. Aug 18, 1941 Jackson, Tennessee, USA - d. Jan 31, 2014 Los Alamitos, California, USA ) Male
Relations: Husband of Susan Strasberg (1965-1968) divorced

Christopher Jones was an actor who seemed poised for stardom before abruptly abandoning his movie career in the late 1960s. Mr. Jones made only a few films, but his talent and star power drew comparisons with James Dean, whose brief career his own mimicked in some ways. Like Dean, Mr. Jones studied at the Actors Studio, worked on Broadway and in television, and projected an aura of wild yearning and raw energy, which he showed in films like "Wild in the Streets," (1968) and "Ryan's Daughter" (1970).

No one seemed to know why Mr. Jones dropped out of the movie-star business. Speculation ranged across several possible explanations: a troubled personal history, a rebel's rejection of the strict regimen of filmmaking, his shock when a loved one was murdered because of her fame.

Mr. Jones told an interviewer in 2007 that he had been having an affair with the actress Sharon Tate when she and four others were viciously killed on Aug. 9, 1969, by members of the Charles Manson cult in the California home of Ms. Tate's husband, the director Roman Polanski, who was away. Mr. Jones was filming "Ryan's Daughter" in Ireland at the time.

He appeared in only one more film -- "Mad Dog Time," a 1996 comedy in which he had a small role -- as a favor to a friend, Larry Bishop, the film's director.

William Frank Jones was born in Jackson, Tennessee. When he came of age, Mr. Jones joined the Army then went AWOL and spent six months in jail. Finding his way to New York, he worked odd jobs, studied painting, met artists and landed a small role in the 1961 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana.

In 1965 he married Susan Strasberg, the daughter of the acting coaches Lee and Paula Strasberg. That same year he was cast in the starring role of the television series "The Legend of Jesse James," which lasted one season. He and Ms. Strasberg divorced in 1968.

Source: The New York Times obituary

ProductionsDate of Productions
The Night of the Iguana
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Christopher Jones [Pancho]
Dec 28, 1961 - Sep 29, 1962
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