Jones grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. He made his first film appearance opposite Bo Derek in the 1979 romance comedy film 10. He was cast as Flash Gordon based, not on his appearance in 10, but based on an appearance as a contestant on The Dating Game that was seen by the mother-in-law of Dino De Laurentiis. According to Jones, he was only appearing on the show for the money (because Jones was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the game-show had to pay him "scale").
The critical failure (at the time) of Flash Gordon effectively stalled Jones's career in American film. Since then his work has largely been in television and in low-budget action films. He played Chris Rorchek in the TV series Code Red (1981-1982), was the lead in a 1987 adaptation of Will Eisner's comics character The Spirit, and played the title character in the short-lived NBC series The Highwayman. More recently, Jones acted the villain in films such as Obsession Kills (1995), Fists of Iron (1995), American Strays (1996), American Tigers (1996), Gangland and Psychotic (2002). Among his better films are the romantic comedy My Chauffeur (1986) and Jane and the Lost City, a 1987 film based on a popular British comic strip. In 2001, Jones was cast in the Animal Planet's family series Hollywood Safari as a park ranger. He also made a memorable appearance in an episode of Stargate SG-1 entitled "Deadman Switch". In 2007, he had a special guest role in playing the prisoner Krebb in the Sci-Fi Channel original television series Flash Gordon.
Jones is a former United States Marine and has received several entertainment, civic, and humanitarian awards. He has been married twice and is the father of five children.