Jones sitting for a sculpture by Steven Whyte
Frederick Charles Jones
12 September 1927
Dresden, Staffordshire, England
|Died||9 July 2019 (aged 91)|
Jennifer Heselwood (m. 1965)
|Children||3, including Toby Jones|
Frederick Charles Jones (12 September 1927 – 9 July 2019) was an English actor who had an extensive career in television, theatre and cinema productions for almost sixty years. In theatre, he was best known for originating the role of Sir in The Dresser; in film, he was best known for his role as the circus ringmaster Bytes in The Elephant Man (1980); and in television, he was best known for playing Sandy Thomas in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale from 2005 to 2018.
Jones was born in Dresden, a suburb of the town of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, the son of Ida Elizabeth (née Goodwin) and Charles Edward Jones. Charles was a porcelain thrower, Ida a clerk and pub pianist.[a] He worked briefly at Creda, the consumer electrical goods vendors, in Longton before he joined the British Ceramic Research Association in Penkhull, where he worked for ten years. His girlfriend at the time suggested he joined a drama course, after which he joined repertory theatre in Shelton, Staffordshire, and other local theatre groups.
Jones won a scholarship to the Rose Bruford Training College of Speech and Drama—where he shed his Midlands accent. He spent time in Lincoln rep before making his London debut in 1962 with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), performing at the Arts Theatre in Afore Night Come. According to the theatre critic Michael Coveney, Jones was "immediately one of the ... [RSC's] most distinctive character actors". In 1963 he played Stanley in the Harold Pinter-directed revival of The Birthday Party in 1963, followed by Maxim Gorky's play Lower Depths at the Aldwych Theatre in 1964. In 1964 he appeared as Cucurucu in the Peter Brook-directed production of Marat/Sade in a production that included Glenda Jackson, Ian Richardson and Patrick Magee. He reprised his role for the Broadway production, and again for the film version (1967).
He became more widely known to British audiences in 1968, after his appearance in the six-episode television series The Caesars, in which he played Claudius. For this role, he won the award for the "World's Best Television Actor of the Year" at the 1969 Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Other television work included the 1995 BBC three-part adaptation of Cold Comfort Farm, the 1978 series Pennies from Heaven and the ITV children's programme The Ghosts of Motley Hall (1976–1978). His cinema career developed, with support roles in the Cold War thriller Firefox playing an MI6 spy chief, and in the director David Lynch's films The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984) and Wild at Heart (1990). In the 1980s series, The District Nurse, he played the senior partner in a father-and-son medical practice in 1930s Wales, with the unrelated Nicholas Jones as his son.
In 1980 he appeared as Sir in Ronald Harwood's play The Dresser, first in Manchester, then transferring to the London stage; he later reprised the role on BBC Radio 4's The Monday Play in 1993. Coveney said of Jones in the role: "No subsequent performance in The Dresser – not Albert Finney in the 1983 film, nor Anthony Hopkins on television in 2015, nor Ken Stott in the West End in 2016 – matched the rumbling thunder of Jones". Apart from a brief spell in 2001, Jones retired from stage work in the early 1990s.
Jones played the character Sandy Thomas in ITV's Emmerdale from 2005 to 2018, when he left the programme. He said he had been offered a contract extension but he declined as he felt it was the right time to move on.
Jones also performed extensively in radio drama, including:
- "Mr. Pickwick" in the 1977 adaptation of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers,
- "The Player" in the 1978 adaptation of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
- "The Waiter" in the 1971 adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell
- "Albert Edward, Prince of Wales" in Lydia Ragosin's Bertie
- "Rodin" in Jonathan Smith's Abandoned
- "The Scribe" in the 1992 adaptation of Bruce Bedford's The Gibson
- "Charlie" in A. L. Kennedy's Like An Angel
- "Sir Morton Makepeace" in Martyn Read's The Folly
- "The Artist" in the adaptations of the Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake.
Jones died on 9 July 2019 at the age of 91 in Bicester, Oxfordshire, after a short illness. Following his death several of the cast members from Emmerdale paid tribute to Jones. On 11 July both episodes of a double-bill of the soap were dedicated to Jones.
|1967||Accident||Man in Bell's Office|
|1967||Far from the Madding Crowd||Cainy Ball|
|1968||The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom||Det. Sgt. Dylan|
|1969||Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed||Professor Richter|
|1970||Doctor in Trouble||Master-at-Arms|
|1970||The Man Who Haunted Himself||Dr. Harris, Psychiatrist|
|1970||Goodbye Gemini||David Curry|
|1972||Antony and Cleopatra||Pompey|
|1973||Son of Dracula||The Baron|
|1973||The Satanic Rites of Dracula||Professor Keeley|
|1974||Vampira||Gilmore||A.K.A Old Dracula|
|1975||All Creatures Great and Small||Cranford||TV movie|
|1975||Romance with a Double Bass||Maestro Lakeyich||Short|
|1976||Never Too Young to Rock||Mr. Rockbottom|
|1979||Zulu Dawn||Bishop Colenso|
|1980||The Elephant Man||Bytes|
|1982||Captain Stirrick||Mr. Leach|
|1983||And the Ship Sails On||Orlando|
|1984||Firestarter||Doctor Joseph Wanless|
|1984||The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood||Orlando||TV movie|
|1985||The Black Cauldron||Dallben||Voice|
|1985||Young Sherlock Holmes||Chester Cragwitch|
|1986||Comrades||Vicar of Tolpuddle|
|1988||Consuming Passions||Graham Chumley|
|1989||Erik the Viking||Harald the Missionary|
|1990||Wild at Heart||George Kovich|
|1990||Dark River||The Official||TV movie|
|1991||The Last Butterfly||Karl Rheinberg|
|1993||The Mystery of Edwin Drood||Sapsea|
|1994||Prince of Jutland||Bjorn|
|1994||The Neverending Story 3: Escape from Fantasia||Mr. Coreander / Old Man of Wandering Mountain|
|1995||Cold Comfort Farm||Adam Lambsbreath||TV movie|
|1997||Seeing Things||Prisoner Park||Short|
|1998||Keep in a Dry Place and Away from Children||Voice over||Short|
|1998||What Rats Won't Do||Judge Foster|
|1998||The Life and Crimes of William Palmer||Dr. Bamford|
|1999||My Life So Far||Reverend Finlayson|
|2000||Married 2 Malcolm||Jasper|
|2000||David Copperfield||Barkis||TV movie|
|2002||The Count of Monte Cristo||Colonel Villefort|
|2002||Puckoon||Sir John Meredith|
|2004||Ladies in Lavender||Jan Pendered|
|2008||Caught in the Act||Collingsworth Jenkins|
|2010||Come on Eileen||Dermot|
|2015||By Our Selves||Narrator|
|1960||Androcles and the Lion||Christian||2 episodes|
|1963||Z-Cars||Craig||Episode: "Pay by Results"|
|1963||The Victorians||Maltby||Episode: "The Ticket-of-Leave Man"|
|1963||Maupassant||Boissel||Episode: "The Inheritance"|
|1963, 1955||Our Man at St. Mark's||Benson / George Gregory||2 episodes|
|1964||Festival||Unknown character||Episode: "Six Characters in Search of an Author"|
|1964||ITV Play of the Week||Arthur Lowe||Episode: "Gina"|
|1965||The Wednesday Play||Taylor||Episode: "For the West"|
|1966—1970||Mystery and Imagination||Sweeney Todd / Vaudin / Parkes||3 episodes|
|1967||Sword of Honour||Ludovic||Episode: "Officers and Gentlemen"|
|1967||The Avengers||Basil / John Steed||Episode: "Who's Who???"|
|1967||The Baron||Landlord||Episode: "So Dark the Night"|
|1967||Half Hour Story||Walter Bishop||Episode: "A Man Inside"|
|1967, 1973||Armchair Theatre||Fiodor Dostoyevski / John Dolby||2 episodes|
|1968||The Caesars||Claudius||5 episodes|
|1968||The Saint||Martin Graves||Episode: "The Time to Die"|
|1968||Nana||Count Muffat||5 episodes|
|1968||Cold Comfort Farm||Urk / Dr Adolf Mudel||2 episodes|
|1969||ITV Playhouse||Wilfred Eames||Episode: "You've Made Your Bed: Now Lie in It"|
|1969||Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)||James McAllister||Episode: "For the Girl Who Has Everything"|
|1970||I Am ...||John Clare|
|1970||The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens||William Shaw||Television film|
|1970||Menace||Elystan Griffiths||Episode: "The Straight and the Narrow"|
|1970||The Main Chance||Prof. Ian Allardyce||Episode: "The Walls of Jericho"|
|1970—1978||BBC Play of the Month||Gibbet / Vanya||2 episodes|
|1971||Doctor at Large||Sir Robert Joyce||Episode: "Let's Start at the Beginning"|
|1971||Six Dates with Barker||Major Rupert Yappe||Episode: "1915: Lola"|
|1971||Out of the Unknown||Lester||Episode: "The Shattered Eye"|
|1971||The Misfit||Nitro||Episode: "On Paperback Revolutionaries"|
|1971||The Trouble with Lilian||Jack||Episode: "The Long Wash"|
|1971||For the Love of Ada||David Llewellyn Griffiths||Episode: "The Admirer"|
|1971||Jason King||Mr. Quirly||Episode: "A Deadly Line in Digits"|
|1972||The Goodies||Mr. Sparklipegs||Episode: "Charity Bounce"|
|1972||His and Hers||Tom Waller||Episode: "Driving"|
|1972||Love and Mr Lewisham||Mr. Chaffery||3 episodes|
|1973||The Adventurer||Calloway||Episode: "Mr. Calloway Is a Very Cautious Man"|
|1973||The Protectors||Robard||Episode: "The Bodyguards"|
|1973||Ooh La La!||General Irrigua||Episode: "Kept on a String"|
|1973||Bowler||Festival Hall Manager||Episode: "On the Fiddle"|
|1973||Alice Through the Looking Glass||Humpty Dumpty||Television film|
|1973||Fall of Eagles||Witte||2 episodes|
|1974||Baa Baa Black Sheep||Uncle Harry||Television film|
|1974||ITV Sunday Night Drama||Ethelred||Episode: "The Ceremony of Innocence"|
|1974||Marked Personal||George Prewett||2 episodes|
|1974||Play for Today||Headmaster - 'Audience' / Joe Jones||2 episodes|
|1975||This Week||Lord Londonderry||Episode: "1844"|
|1975||Centre Play||Walter / Tiny||2 episodes|
|1975||A Journey to London||Lord Loverule||Television film|
|1975||Thriller||Arnold Tully||Episode: "A Midsummer Nightmare"|
|1975||The Boy Dave'||Old Billy||Television film|
|1976||Shades of Greene||Lever||Episode: "A Chance for Mr. Lever"|
|1976||Space: 1999||Dr. Charles Logan||Episode: "Journey to Where"|
|1976||The Government Inspector||Mayor||3 episodes|
|1976||Brensham People||Mr. Chorlton||Episode: "Master of Many Parts"|
|1976||Children of the Stones||Dai||5 episodes|
|1976–1978||The Ghosts of Motley Hall||Sir George Uproar||20 episodes|
|1977||Just William||Sandy Dick||Episode: "William and the Tramp"|
|1977||The Galton & Simpson Playhouse||Peter||Episode: "Cheers"|
|1977||Nicholas Nickleby||Mr. Vincent Crummles||2 episodes|
|1977||Duchess of Duke Street||Professor Stubbs||Episode: "Poor Catullus"|
|1977||Van der Valk||Joop Pater||Episode: "Accidental"|
|1977||Target||Det. Chief Supt. Neville Clegg||Episode: "Carve Up"|
|1978||Hazell||Dobson||Episode: "Hazell Settles the Accounts"|
|1978||The Mayor of Casterbridge||Fall||2 episodes|
|1978||The Nativity||Diomedes||Television film|
|1978||The Devil's Crown||Bertrand de Born||3 episodes|
|1978||Pennies From Heaven||Headmaster||2 episodes|
|1978||BBC2 Play of the Week||Vollard||Episode: "Renoir, My Father"|
|1978||The Talking Parcel||Parrot||Voice, Television film|
|1978||The Dancing Princesses||King||Television film|
|1979||Strangers||Effingham||Episode: "Friends in High Places"|
|1979||The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris||Selwyn Raven||5 episodes|
|1979||Of Mycenae and Men||Menelaus||Television short|
|1979||In Loving Memory||Jeremiah Unsworth||Episode: "In Loving Memory"|
|1979||Screenplay||Richard Morrison||Episode: "The Sound of Guns"|
|1979||Brecht and Co||Member of Brecht's company / Azdak||Television film|
|1979||Secret Orchards||Roger Ackerley / Uncle Bodger||Television film|
|1980||The Greeks: A Journey in Space and Time||Socrates||3 episodes|
|1980||Spine Chillers||Reader||5 episodes|
|1981||Tiny Revolutions||Prof. Jan Kalina||Television film|
|1981||Theatre Box||Nodding Dog||Voice, Episode: "Marmalade Atkins in Space"|
|1982||Murder Is Easy||Constable Reed||Television film|
|1982||Eleanor, First Lady of the World||Unknown character||Television film|
|1983||A Small Desperation||Charles||Television film|
|1984||Travelling Man||Morgan Rees||Episode: "The Watcher"|
|1985||The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole||Mr. Scruton||4 episodes|
|1985||Bulman||Victor Garforth||Episode: "Another Part of the Jungle"|
|1985||Lost in London||Leo Porter||Television film|
|1985||Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe||Squire Cass||Television film|
|1986, 1990||Screen Two||Agejev / Ulick Uniake||2 episodes|
|1987||The District Nurse||Dr. Emlyn Isaacs||12 episodes|
|1987||Theatre Night||Engstrand||Episode: "Ghosts"|
|1987||Vanity Fair||Sir Pitt Crawley||7 episodes|
|1987||The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole||Mr. Scruton||6 episodes|
|1988||The Return of Sherlock Holmes||Inspector Baynes||Episode: "Wisteria Lodge"|
|1988||Room at the Bottom||Andre Shepherd||Episode: "The Chef"|
|1988||How to Be Cool||Dr. Benjamin Barnard Walters||3 episodes|
|1989||Sob Sisters||Leo||7 episodes|
|1989||Boon||David Tredegar||Episode: "Walking Off Air"|
|1990||TECX||Sir Neil Milverton||Episode: "A Soldier's Death"|
|1990||The Paper Man||Sir Charles Llewellyn||Miniseries|
|1990||Hale and Pace||Dr. Pratt||Episode: "Season Three, Episode Three"|
|1990||Screenplay||Politician||Episode: "Shoot the Revolution"|
|1991||Inspector Morse||Harry Field Senior||Episode: "Who Killed Harry Field?"|
|1992||Screen One||Old Squire||Episode: "Adam Bede"|
|1992||On the Air||Stan Tailings||Episode: "Episode 1.4"|
|1992||True Adventures of Christopher Columbus||Herald|
|1993||Hotel Room||Lou Boca||Episode: "Tricks"|
|1993||Lovejoy||Arnold Tapie||Episode: "Goose Bumps"|
|1993||The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes||Pedlar||Episode: ""The Last Vampyre""|
|1993||Mr. Wroe's Virgins||Pedlar||4 episodes|
|1993||The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||Birdy Soames||Episode: "Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom"|
|1993–2009||Heartbeat||Howard Druce / Fred Braithwaite / George Woodford / Mr. Parrish||4 episodes|
|1994||A Pinch of Snuff||Dr. Gilbert Haggard||Television film|
|1994||Just William||Sir Giles Hampton||Episode: "William and the Great Actor"|
|1995||Cold Comfort Farm||Adam Lambsbreath||Television film|
|1995||Tales of Mystery and Imagination||Fortunato||Episode: "The Cask of Amontillado"|
|1996||No Bananas||Perce||2 episodes|
|1996||Neverwhere||The Earl||2 episodes|
|1996||The Bill||Arthur Gordon||Episode: "Old Codgers"|
|1997||Dalziel and Pascoe||French||Episode: "Ruling Passion"|
|1997||Drovers' Gold||Moc Morgan||Miniseries|
|1997||The Temptation of Franz Schubert||Unknown character||Television film|
|1998||The Life and Crimes of William Palmer||Dr. Bamford||Television film|
|1998||Duck Patrol||Cyril||Episode: "The Spirit of the Deep"|
|1999||Sunburn||Mr. Dawson||Episode: "Episode #1.5"|
|2000||David Copperfield||Barkis||Television film|
|2000||The League of Gentlemen||Dr. Magnus Purblind||Episode: "The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special"|
|2000, 2004||Casualty||Iain Roles / Henry Wallowski||2 episodes|
|2001||Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)||Carodoc Evans||Episode: "Revenge of the Bog People"|
|2003||Broken Morning||Undertaker||Television film|
|2004||The Royal||Sebastian Fox-Kirby||2 episodes|
|2004||Midsomer Murders||Benbow||Episode: "The Maid in Splendour"|
|2005||Casanova||Bragadin / Bragani||2 episodes|
|2005–2018||Emmerdale||Sandy Thomas||776 episodes (final appearance)|
Notes and references
- Jones' description of his mother's piano playing was: "She played piano in Longton the way most people play rugby, as though she had a grudge against it."
- Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916-2005.; at ancestry.com
- Myatt, Alan (22 May 2010). "Nostalgia Letter". This is Staffordshire. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
- Pedley, Brian (28 August 1998). "Stoke-on-trent: Freddie of the five towns". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Freddie Jones, one of Britain's most treasured character actors, who played a freak-show proprietor in 'The Elephant Man' and the roguish father of the vicar in Emmerdale – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Coveney, Michael (10 July 2019). "Freddie Jones obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Jones, Tony (14 January 2018). "Pinter and Me". Sunday Times. Section 8-9.
- "Freddie Jones". British Film Institute. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Lemon, Mark; Mayhew, Henry; Taylor, Tom; Brooks, Shirley; Burnand, Francis Cowley & Seaman, Owen (1987). London Charivari. Punch Publications Limited. p. 57.
- Vahimagi, Tise; Grade, Michael (1996). British Television: An Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 292.
- "Tributes paid to Emmerdale actor Freddie Jones". BBC News. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Brown, David (16 February 2018). "90-year-old actor Freddie Jones explains why now is the right time to leave Emmerdale". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Charles Dickens - The Pickwick Papers". BBC Radio.
- "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead". Radio Times. No. 2876. 24 December 1978. p. 31 – via BBC Genome.
- "Saturday-Night Theatre You Never Can Tell". Radio Times. No. 2490. 31 July 1971. p. 17 – via BBC Genome.
- "Saturday-Night Theatre: Bertie". Radio Times. No. 2640. 15 June 1974. p. 25 – via BBC Genome.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Jonathan Smith - Abandoned". BBC Radio.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Bruce Bedford - The Gibson". BBC Radio.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - AL Kennedy - Like An Angel". BBC.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Martyn Read - The Folly". BBC Radio.
- Walsh, John (13 September 2014). "Quiet Genius of Toby Jones: From the Hunger Games to Truman Capote, Hollywood can't get enough of British acting's most versatile talent". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Stolworthy, Jacob (10 July 2019). "Emmerdale actor Freddie Jones dies aged 91". The Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Davies, Megan (11 July 2019). "Emmerdale dedicates latest episodes to actor Freddie Jones". Digital Spy.
- "Freddie Jones". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "AFI Catalog". American Film Institute. Retrieved 11 July 2019.