Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Christopher Jones | Actor who bowed out, 72

Christopher Jones, 72, who starred in the youth-rebellion film Wild in the Streets and had a major role as a British officer in David Lean's 1970 epic Ryan's Daughter, then turned his back on Hollywood, died Friday at Los Alamitos Medical Center.

He was diagnosed in December with gallbladder cancer, said his partner, Paula McKenna, with whom he had four children.

Mr. Jones, who continued to live in Southern California, was not much interested in explaining why he left the business at his peak. "I am happy," he told the Chicago Tribune in 2000. "I did exactly as I pleased - within my world."

Even as prominent a director as Quentin Tarantino was not able to lure him back onto the screen.

Jones' career took its first big leap when he was cast as the title character in the ABC series The Legend of Jesse James, which ran for more than 30 episodes in 1965 and 1966.

His former manager Sherry Dodd said Mr. Jones, who was married for three years to the actress Susan Strasberg in the mid-1960s, had no interest in films after the murder of actress Sharon Tate, with whom he had grown close. Tate was one of five people murdered in her home by Manson family members in 1969.

"He had a breakdown," Dodd said.

His only exception was to appear in a small part in Trigger Happy (1996), also known as Mad Dog Time, at the request of director Larry Bishop. Mr. Jones told the Globe and Mail it was "just something to do." - L.A. Times

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