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LawrenceA

Freddie Jones (1927-2019)

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British actor Freddie Jones has died. He had an eclectic career on stage, television, and in movies from the early 1960's through the 2010's. His more memorable films appearances include Far from the Madding CrowdFrankenstein Must Be DestroyedJuggernautZulu DawnThe Elephant ManKrullFirestarterYoung Sherlock HolmesCold Comfort FarmLadies in Lavender, and The Libertine. Personally, I will always remember him as Thufir Hawat in David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of Dune. Freddie Jones' son Toby Jones is also a prolific and successful actor.

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Freddie Jones was a great British character actor. He's particularly excellent as a rival inspector in an episode of the Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett. That was in the adaptation of "Wisteria Lodge" from 1988.

But he has a long list of film and TV credits. From 2005 to 2018 he played Sandy Thomas on the soap opera Emmerdale.

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His last episode occurred in mid-February 2018. Jones was not in the best of shape and could no longer walk. But instead of killing the character off, they sent him on an extended trip to Australia.

In an article at the time, Jones said the producers had offered him another one-year contract, but he felt he needed to bow out. Supposedly he lived three hours away from the Yorkshire Dales, where Emmerdale is filmed. So he would be driven up, put into a hotel, then do all his episodes for the month, and go back home. Towards the end, the six-hour round trip was becoming too much for him, and his last few months on the show, his appearances were occurring less often. But they did give him a nice exit story and his very last episode was quite memorable.

I do wonder if the character's death will be written into the series, or if they will just keep acting like he's away in Australia.

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Like all great "mad" Welsh actors, Jones had a memorable AC-ting! style that turned every one of his mainstream 80's supporting parts into some Shakesperean delivery that King Arthur would call "What an eccentric performance..."

But that's what raised "Krull", "Dune" and "Young Sherlock Holmes" up a quality notch or two, and added creepy surreal atmosphere to the opening of "The Elephant Man".

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I had no idea he was Toby Jones' father. This is another actor I feel like I should be a little better acquainted with (just like Valentina Cortese, currently being discussed in another thread). David Lynch clearly liked working with him, casting him in both The Elephant Man and Dune.

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15 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I had no idea he was Toby Jones' father. This is another actor I feel like I should be a little better acquainted with (just like Valentina Cortese, currently being discussed in another thread). David Lynch clearly liked working with him, casting him in both The Elephant Man and Dune.

Freddie Jones' acting style was highly idiosyncratic, which is probably what caused Lynch to hire him. He could keep things restrained, but he also had a tendency towards eccentricity. 

Interestingly, Jeremy Brett was a similar kind of actor. So when they meet up in that Sherlock Holmes episode in 1988, it's a master class in acting-- neither one lets the other upstage him, and the result is fascinating.

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15 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I had no idea he was Toby Jones' father. 

I didn't even see the resemblance until the side-by-side picture--

Yes, they were both Jones, but as they came from the same background, that wasn't a surprise, so I'd just thought of them as Jones the Dune and Jones the Captain America.

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Freddie Jones was the kind of actor who made everything he did - memorable.

I remember him most fondly from "Young Sherlock Holmes".

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His son, Toby Jones, starred in the second Truman Capote film that was so much better than the first.

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

His son, Toby Jones, starred in the second Truman Capote film that was so much better than the first.

I've seen Toby in some British police dramas and I was wondering what his backstory was.

He is certainly a good actor.

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There have been some nice comments about Freddie on Twitter, posted by his Emmerdale costars. 

And tonight's two-part episode was dedicated to him.

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