Mickey Jones, the beloved character actor who amassed more than 100 credits over the course of his career has passed away at the age of 76.
A statement from Jones’ family indicates that he had been battling an illness that resulted in several hospitalizations in recent months.
The statement did not offer any specifics regarding the nature of the illness.
While Jones’ name may not be familiar, if you’re a film and television fan, you’re almost certainly familiar with his face.
He belongs to the class of character actors so instantly recognizable that they’re known to elicit shouts of “that guy!” from audiences.
Jones’ imposing size, signature beard, and tremendous versatility made him an intimidating presence in crime dramas and an unexpected source of laughs in lighthearted comedies.
While it might be his role as Tim Allen’s rugged, yet unexpectedly sensitive friend Pete Bilker on Home Improvement for which Jones is best remembered, the gentle giant left his mark on countless esteemed projects over the years.
In addition to his work on such iconic television shows as MASH, Entourage, and Bones, Jones turned in memorable performances in such films as Total Recall, Sling Blade, and Tin Cup.
Prior to his acting career, Jones made a name for himself as a drummer for various high-profile rock and roll acts.
Before making the switch to Hollywood, he backed such legends as Kenny Rogers and Bob Dylan.
In 2009, Jones published a memoir entitled That Would Be Me.
The title was taken from his Home Improvement character’s signature catchphrase.
Thousands of tributes to Jones have been pouring in on social media since his death was announced Wednesday afternoon.
It’s a testament to the length and diversity of his career that he’s being remembered by film and television fans from various generations, and for projects as varied as Baywatch and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Mickey Jones is survived by his wife, Phyllis Jean Starr, and their two children.
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.