Theodore Allen Jones
October 14, 1907
|Died||June 27, 1992 84) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
(m. 1929;div. 1936)
(m. 1936;div. 1957)
Mary Florsheim Picking
(m. 1958;div. 1964)
Esther Marie Villavincie
|Children||2, including Jack Jones|
Allan Jones (October 14, 1907 – June 27, 1992) was an American actor and tenor.
He is best remembered as the male romantic lead actor in the first two films the Marx Brothers starred in for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, A Night at the Opera (1935) and A Day at the Races (1937), as well as the film musicals Show Boat (1936) and The Firefly (1937).
Jones was born in Old Forge, Pennsylvania and raised in Scranton Pennsylvania where he graduated from Central High School.His father and grandfather were Welsh coal miners, and he worked in coal mines early in his adult life. He left that occupation to study voice at New York University.
In an interview in 1973, Jones recalled that his father and grandfather were musically talented: "My father had a beautiful tenor voice. So did my grandfather...Grandfather taught violin, voice and piano when he could. My father sang every chance he could get and realized his ambition through me."
Jones appeared on Broadway a few times, including 1933's Roberta and the short-lived 1934 revival of Bitter Sweetafter debuting in Boccacio in 1931.
Jones starred in many film musicals during the 1930s and 1940s. The best-known of these were the original film version of Show Boat (1936), and The Firefly (1937)in which he introduced what would become his signature song: "The Donkey Serenade". Jones is best remembered today as the romantic lead opposite Kitty Carlisle and Maureen O'Sullivan respectively, in the first two films the Marx Brothers starred in for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: A Night at the Opera (1935) and A Day at the Races (1937), filling a straight-man role opened by the departure of Zeppo Marx from the team.
His appearance in A Night at the Opera was well received and, as a result, he won the coveted role of Gaylord Ravenal in the 1936 film version of Show Boat (opposite Irene Dunne) over such screen musical favorites as Nelson Eddy and John Boles.[ citation needed ] It would be Jones's most distinguished screen portrayal in which, under the direction of James Whale, he displayed fine dramatic acting ability, as well as his obvious singing talent.
Jones made a brief appearance in the 1936 Nelson Eddy–Jeanette MacDonald film Rose Marie , singing music from Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Giacomo Puccini's Tosca , but according to Merchant of Dreams, Charles Higham's biography of Louis B. Mayer, Eddy, who apparently considered Jones a rival and a potential threat, asked that most of Jones's footage in Rose Marie be cut—including his rendition of the great Puccini aria E lucevan le stelle —and MGM agreed to Eddy's demand. Jones's final film for MGM was Everybody Sing (1938) opposite Judy Garland and Fanny Brice, in which he introduced the pop standard "The One I Love".
In 1940, Jones moved to Universal Pictures for two musicals: The Boys from Syracuse, with the stage score (severely cut) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and One Night in the Tropics with a score by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, which was also the screen debut of Abbott and Costello. After these two films, he slipped to leads in several "B" musicals, at Paramount, and Universal, including a reunion with his A Night At The Opera co-star Kitty Carlisle in Larceny with Music (1943). The same year he made a guest appearance, as himself, in the Olsen and Johnson musical Crazy House, where he again performed "The Donkey Serenade".
Jones recorded prodigiously throughout his career, primarily for RCA Victor. His 1938 recording of The Donkey Serenade ranks third among the all-time best-selling single records issued by RCA Victor.
In the mid-1940s, Jones and pianist Frankie Carle starred in the Old Gold Show on CBS radio.
Jones continued performing until the 1980s, starring in stage productions of Man of La Mancha ,Paint Your Wagon , Guys and Dolls and Carousel . In December 1980, Jones appeared on an episode of the ABC-TV series The Love Boat also starring his son Jack Jones as his estranged son and Dorothy Lamour as his wife and Jack's mother.
Jones also bred and raised race horses on his ranch in California.
Jones was married four times. His wives included Hervey, Maria Villavincie,and Mary Florsheim (granddaughter of Milton S. Florsheim). He was married to actress Irene Hervey from 1936 to 1957. American pop singer Jack Jones is their son.
Jones died of lung cancer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City in June 1992, at age 84.
|1935||A Night at the Opera||Riccardo Barone||with the Marx Brothers|
|1936||Show Boat||Gaylord Ravenal|
|1937||A Day at the Races||Gil Stewart||with the Marx Brothers|
|1937||The Firefly||Don Diego|
|1938||Everybody Sing||Ricky Saboni||with Judy Garland and Fanny Brice|
|1939||Honeymoon in Bali||Eric Sinclair|
|1939||The Great Victor Herbert||John Ramsey|
|1940||The Boys from Syracuse||Antipholus of Ephesus / Antipholus of Syracuse|
|1940||One Night in the Tropics||Jim Moore||film debut of Abbott and Costello|
|1941||The Hard-Boiled Canary||Michael Maddy|
|1942||True to the Army||Pvt. Stephen Chandler|
|1942||Moonlight in Havana||Johnny Norton|
|1942||When Johnny Comes Marching Home||Johnny Kovacs - aka Johnny O'Rourke|
|1943||Rhythm of the Islands||Tommy|
|1943||Larceny with Music||Ken Daniels|
|1943||You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith||Tony Smith|
|1944||Sing a Jingle||Ray King|
|1945||Senorita from the West||Phil Bradley|
|1964||Stage to Thunder Rock||Mayor Ted Dollar|
|1965||A Swingin' Summer||Mr. Johnson|
|1970||A Man Called Sledge|
A Night at the Opera is a 1935 American comedy film starring the Marx Brothers, and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf King. It was the first of five films the Marx Brothers made under contract for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after their departure from Paramount Pictures, and the first after Zeppo left the act. The film was written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind from a story by James Kevin McGuinness, with additional uncredited dialogue by Al Boasberg. The film was directed by Sam Wood.
Jeanette Anna MacDonald was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy. During the 1930s and 1940s she starred in 29 feature films, four nominated for Best Picture Oscars, and recorded extensively, earning three gold records. She later appeared in opera, concerts, radio, and television. MacDonald was one of the most influential sopranos of the 20th century, introducing opera to film-going audiences and inspiring a generation of singers.
John Allan Jones is an American singer and actor. He is the son of actor/singer Allan Jones and actress Irene Hervey.
Irene Hervey was an American film, stage, and television actress who appeared in over fifty films and numerous television series spanning her five-decade career.
Alvin Morris, known professionally as Tony Martin, was an American actor and popular singer.
A Day at the Races is a 1937 American comedy film, and the seventh film starring the Marx Brothers, with Allan Jones, Maureen O'Sullivan and Margaret Dumont. Like their previous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature A Night at the Opera, this film was a major hit.
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Lynne Carver was an American film actress. She appeared in 42 films between 1934 and 1953.
Rose Marie is a 1936 American musical film starring Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, and Reginald Owen that was directed by W. S. Van Dyke. It was the second of three movie adaptations from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer of the 1924 Broadway musical of the same name. A silent version was released in 1928 and a color film in 1954. All three versions are set in the Canadian wilderness. Portions of Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart's original score for the Broadway musical are utilized in both the 1936 and 1954 films.
The Firefly is a 1937 musical film starring Jeanette MacDonald and Allan Jones. The film is an adaptation of the operetta of the same name by composer Rudolf Friml and librettist Otto A. Harbach that premiered on Broadway in 1912. The film used nearly all of the music from the operetta but jettisoned the plot in favor of a new storyline set in Spain during the time of the Emperor Napoleon I. It added a new song, "The Donkey Serenade", which became extremely popular, as was one of the Friml songs, "Giannina Mia". The original release prints of the film were elaborately tinted with Sepia-Blue, Sepia-Orange and Sepia-Blue-Pink.
Louis Isidore Lavater was an Australian composer and author born in Victoria, of Swedish extraction. He published more than a hundred musical works. He prepared musical settings of popular folklore by collaborating with well known Australian lyricists of his time, including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore. He was a leading proponent of the Australian bush ballad as a vehicle for music education. In 1938, Alfred Hill composed a musical setting of Lavater's verse Mopoke. Lavater's words were also set by Australian composers Doctor Ruby Davis and Fanny Turbayne.
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