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Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey Duncan Jones (born September 28, 1946) is an American actor. He has appeared in many films and television shows, but is best known for his roles as Emperor Joseph II in Milos Forman’s Academy Award winning Amadeus, and as the infamous dean of students, Edward R. Rooney, in the 1986 John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Early life

Jones was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Ruth (née Schooley), an art historian who urged Jones towards a career in acting, and Douglas Bennett Jones, who died during Jones's childhood. Jones went to London in 1969 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, following that up with a three-year stint with the Stratford Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.

Career and filmography

Jones began acting in small parts in film and TV in the late ’70s. A supporting role in the 1983 Rodney Dangerfield film Easy Money, and a guest shot on Remington Steele led to his replacing Ian Richardson in Miloš Forman’s 1984 adaptation of the Peter Shaffer play Amadeus as Emperor Joseph II, to whom he bore an uncanny resemblance. Jones’ performance as Mr. Edward R. Rooney, Dean of Students in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off made him a cultural icon. Rooney, self-important and obsessed with catching the chronically truant Ferris Bueller, became a symbol of stuffed-shirt pomposity and authoritarian hatefulness. Jones has proven to be a favorite of director Tim Burton’s, starring in Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow, and has also appeared in such prominent films as The Hanoi Hilton, The Hunt for Red October, Howard the Duck, Houseguest, The Devil’s Advocate, and Stuart Little. Jones also had a key role in The Pest, a comedy starring John Leguizamo, as the evil German trying to hunt Pestario "Pest" Vargas. Other key roles for Jones include Stay Tuned, where he played Mr. Spike, and the 1992 comedy Mom and Dad Save the World, where he played Dick Nelson. Jones was costarred in the 1999 cult favorite cannibal western Ravenous .

Jones has guested on a number of television shows, including Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, and Wayside. In 1989, Jones starred in Wes Craven’s short-lived CBS sitcom The People Next Door, where he played a cartoonist whose imagination could make things come to life. He also appeared as famous newspaper publisher A. W. Merrick on HBO’s highly acclaimed show Deadwood. His latest film, Who's Your Caddy?, debuted in 2007.

Sex offence arrest and conviction

In 2002, Jones was arrested for possession of child pornography and employing a 14-year-old boy to pose for pornographic photographs. Jones pleaded no contest to the felony charges and was ordered to undergo counseling and register as a sex offender. In July 2004, he was arrested by Florida police after failing to notify them of his change of residence as required under Florida's version of Megan’s Law. After the minor became an adult, he sued Jones in civil court.


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