O-Lan Jones

Last updated
O-Lan Jones
Born (1950-05-23) May 23, 1950 (age 70)
Other namesO-Lan Shepard
Education New Dramatists
OccupationActress, composer, producer
Years active1967–2016
(m. 1969;div. 1984)

O-Lan Jones is an American actress, composer, and theater producer. She played the eccentric religious fanatic woman Esmeralda in Edward Scissorhands . [1]


Early life

Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. Her first name comes from the heroine of the novel The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. Her father left the family when she was a child. Her mother Scarlett Johnson, a self-described "free spirit", moved their family for a year to a remote Mayan village in the Yucatán jungle when Jones was 15 years old. [2] In 1966 they relocated to Greenwich Village, New York City, where Jones began her acting career. It was in New York that Johnson married comedian and actor Johnny Dark, while Jones dated Dark's best friend, playwright Sam Shepard. Shepard wrote the role of "Oolan" for Jones in his 1967 play Forensic & The Navigators.

In 1969, Jones and Shepard were married. She went on to star in a number of his plays, including Suicide in B♭ and Angel City among others. [3] Jones gave birth to their son Jesse Mojo Shepard in 1971. Jones and Shepard divorced in 1984 after he left her for actress Jessica Lange.

Jones is an alumna of New Dramatists. [4] In addition to her acting Jones is a writer, musician, composer, and lyricist. She is the artistic director of Overtone Industries, a company she founded in 1980 dedicated to creating and developing new works for opera and musical theater. [5] In 2003, she married her long-time boyfriend Haldor Enard. [6]

Selected filmography

1978 A Death in Canaan Carla PittsTelevision film
Credited as Olan Shephard
1980 Die Laughing JudgeCredited as Olan Shephard
1982 Deadly Drifter Nixie / DinahCredited as O-Lan Shepard
1982 Shoot the Moon Counter GirlCredited as O-Lan Shepard
1983 The Right Stuff Pretty GirlCredited as O-Lan Shepard
1988 Married to the Mob Phyllis
1988 Miracle Mile Waitress
1988 Wildfire Mrs. Johnson
1989 Lonesome Dove Sally SkullCredited as Olan Jones
1989 How I Got into College Sally O'Connor
1990 Edward Scissorhands Esmeralda
1990 Pacific Heights Hotel Maid
1992 Seinfeld WaitressEpisode: "The Bubble Boy"
1993 Shelf Life Tina
1993–1994 Harts of the West Rose McLaughlin
1994 Natural Born Killers Mabel
1996 The X-Files Rebecca WaiteEpisode: "Sanguinarium"
1996 Mars Attacks! Sue-Ann Norris
1998 The Truman Show Bar Waitress
2000 American Virgin Kim
2000 Attention Shoppers Meg
2001 Diagnosis: Murder Chantelle BoudreauEpisode: "Bachelor Fathers"
2002 American Girl Hildegarde
2013 Syrup Clinic Receptionist
2015 Community Garrett's MomEpisode: "Wedding Videography"
2016 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Shelly

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  1. Ariano, Tara; Adam Sternbergh (2005). Hey! It's That Guy! . Quirk Books. p.  996. ISBN   978-1-59474-042-8.
  2. "Inventing a World, One Note at a Time". Los Angeles Times.
  3. "Theatre". olanjones.com.
  4. "Alumni". Alumni Playwrights. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  5. "About". overtoneindustries.org.
  6. "Bio". o-lanjones.com.