Claude Earl Jones
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Claude Earl Jones is an American feature film and TV character actor.
Born on April 29, 1933, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jones was raised in Phoenix. At Phoenix Union High School, he got his first acting job after he went to a casting session to support a friend. He then studied the craft at Phoenix College and the Pasadena Playhouse around a stint in the U.S. Army.
After earning his master's degree in theater from Cal State Los Angeles in 1966, Jones taught theater at Ganesha High School in Pomona, California, from 1969-72. He often remarked his work at the school was among the most important he ever did.
His acting résumé included the films Thunder and Lightning (1977), Evilspeak (1981), Impulse (1984), No Man's Land (1987) and Cherry 2000 (1987) Jones has had roles in many classic 1970's, 1980's and 1990's TV shows in both dramatic and comedic portrayals, including Kojak, the mini-series Centennial, Diff'rent Strokes, WKRP in Cincinnati, The A-Team (which starred Original Series star Dirk Benedict), Quantum Leap (starring Re-imagined Series guest star Dean Stockwell) and Seinfeld, Dallas, Simon & Simon, Who's the Boss?, 21 Jump Street and the Griffith-starring Matlock.
Jones also wrote four books: Specially Not No Chocolate, a collection of short stories about his childhood; Hello Devil, Welcome to Hell, about his work on Inherit the Wind; The Real Ones Learn It Somewhere, about his education and teaching experiences; and I'd Drink It, a novel.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his sons, Steve and Tawn; his daughter, Julie; and his stepdaughter, Beth. Donations in his memory can be made to the Theatrical Workforce Development Program at the Roundabout Theatre Company.