Mickey Jones of “Justified” and “Home Improvement” fame is dead, aged 76

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Mickey Jones as Pete Bilker in the 1992 John Pasquin directed “Home Improvement” episode “Read My Hips”

Texas born actor Mickey Jones, best known for playing Pete Bilker in the Carmen Finestra / David McFadzean / Matt Williams co-created situation comedy “Home Improvement” and Rodney ‘Hot Rod’ Dunham in the Graham Yost created action crime drama “Justified,” is dead at 76.

The news of the actor’s death comes on the heels of Desilu Studios revealing it is to bring “V The Movie” to the big screen.

Anyone familiar with Jones work will know, during the mid-1980s, he made appearances in the Kenneth Johnson created mini-series “V” and “V: The Final Battle” as Chris Farber.

Mickey Jones (1941–2018)

In 1991, Jones made his first appearance as Bilker in the John Pasquin directed “Home Improvement” episode “Flying Sauces.” From there, he was a frequent special guest on the popular situation comedy.

More recently, in 2011, the actor had been cast in “Justified.” For the next few seasons of the action crime drama, Jones could be seen making guest appearances as ‘Hot Rod.’

When writing of Jones’ acting career, it would be remiss of anyone to not mention the 1990 Paul Verhoeven directed science fiction thriller “Total Recall.” Even though I have come to like this film, my initial reaction to “Total Recall” was tainted by it having been dubbed into Welsh.

Even though Jones possessed a commonly held Welsh name, hearing his character speak in the language was a tad disconcerting. Despite this point, watching the film in its intended format was an eye-opener.

Born in Houston, Texas on Tuesday, 10 June 1941, Jones was the son of U.S. Naval Officer Fred E. Jones and homemaker Frances Marie Jones.

Beginning with a band he established with fellow schoolmates, Jones quickly established himself as an accomplished musician. During his career, he was seen backing up such artists and bands as Trini LópezJohnny RiversBob Dylan, and The First Edition with 
Kenny Rogers
.

A graduate of Oak Cliff’s Sunset High School, Jones’ first steps towards becoming a musician came when he purchased a set of drums.

Stemming from the early 1970s, Jones’ career saw the actor make appearances in several prominent television productions inclusive of “Rollin’ on the River,” “The Rockford Files,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “CHiPs.”

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