US actor Dean Jones, star of “The Love Bug” and other offbeat Disney hits, died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to his publicist. He was 84.
The actor, who appeared in dozens of films, often playing a bemused, light-hearted leading man, died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, his publicist said Wednesday.
Jones was best known for playing the role of driver Jim Douglas in 1968’s “The Love Bug,” cast alongside a white Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.
The film was a hit for Disney and resulted in four sequels as well as other projects, some of which also featured Jones.
He also starred in the Disney hits “That Darn Cat!” (1965) and “The Million Dollar Duck” (1971) and was most active in the Hollywood of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Born in Alabama, Jones served in the US Navy during the Korean War before getting his start acting on television, films and Broadway alongside the likes of Elvis Presley and Jane Fonda before soon becoming a leading man himself.