Sam J. Jones
Samuel Gerald Jones (born August 12, 1954), known professionally as Sam J. Jones, is an American actor. He has arguably become best known for having played the title characters in the 1980 film Flash Gordon and in the short-lived TV series The Highwayman (1987–1988).
Sam J. Jones
Samuel Gerald Jones
August 12, 1954
|Other names||"Tiffany" "Big T"|
(m. 1982; div. 1987)
Myrtille Blervaque (m. 1987; div. 1990)
Ramona Lynn Jones
|Branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Rank||Private First Class (PFC)|
Jones was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Sacramento, California. In 1972, after high school, Jones enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he played American football. With service in the Corps completed, he moved to Seattle with the ambition of joining the Seahawks but was turned down. Instead, in 1976, he played for their practice team, the Flyers, as a semi-professional.
In parallel and to supplement his income, Jones also began modelling. Starting in 1975, he appeared in full-frontal nude under the alias "Andrew Cooper III" as the centerfold for a photo-spread in the June issue of Playgirl magazine. He also starred in TV commercials for a local sporting goods store in Seattle before finally moving to Los Angeles in 1977.
Jones made his first film appearance in the 1979 romantic comedy film 10. His appearance in 10 allowed him to beat Kurt Russell and Arnold Schwarzenegger for his most famous role, that of Flash Gordon in the 1980 film of the same name. Jones' hair was dyed blonde for this role. The film was moderately successful at the box office grossing $27.1 million in North America, and $22 million in the UK, double its $20 million budget. However, a falling-out between Jones and producer Dino De Laurentiis led to the scrapping of a planned film trilogy.
After the release of Flash Gordon, Playgirl reprinted his 1975 nude photo spread in its January 1981 issue, this time using his real name. He went on to play Chris Rorchek in the TV series Code Red (1981–1982). He had guest roles in other TV shows including The A-Team, Hunter, and Riptide. In 1987, he played the lead role in a TV adaptation of Will Eisner's comics character The Spirit. He also played the title character in the short-lived NBC sci-fi series The Highwayman. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he portrayed Johnny Valentine on the HBO series 1st & Ten.
Jones starred in the 1986 theatrical release My Chauffeur and the straight-to-video movies Jungle Heat (1985), Jane and the Lost City (1987), Under the Gun (1988), Silent Assassins (1988), Whiteforce (1988), Driving Force (1989), and One Man Force (1989). In the 1990s, Jones had roles in films including In Gold We Trust (1990), Maximum Force (1992), Fist of Honor (1993), Hard Vice (1994), Enter the Shootfighter (1995), Texas Payback (1995), The Killer Inside (1996), Earth Minus Zero (1996), Baja Run (1996) and American Tigers (1996), and guest roles in the TV shows Baywatch, Diagnosis Murder and Walker: Texas Ranger.
In 2001, Jones was cast in Animal Planet's family series Hollywood Safari as a park ranger. He appeared in "Deadman Switch", an episode of the television series Stargate SG-1. In 2002, Jones retrained and, when he is not acting or working autograph booths on the ComicCon circuit, he works as a high-end security professional in San Diego, protecting traveling executives to Mexico. In his words "I became a security professional 15 years ago. My wife looked at me and said, 'You've been waiting for the phone to ring. The phone isn't ringing. We have kids. There's the door. Don’t come back until you’re providing.' That’s why I walked away from labels years ago. Actor? I'm a working man. Whatever it takes to provide, I'm a working man".
In 2007, he played the prisoner Krebb in the Sci Fi Channel original television series Flash Gordon. He also had extended cameos (as himself, with his blond Flash Gordon hairstyle) in both the 2012 comedy film Ted and its 2015 sequel, Ted 2. Jones then starred in, and served as an executive producer of, Life After Flash, a crowdfunded feature-length documentary about Flash Gordon. The documentary, which chronicles the original film's production and cult following through interviews with fans and members of its cast and crew, including Melody Anderson, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde, Mark Millar, Robert Rodriguez, Stan Lee and Brian May, also explores how Jones' falling-out with De Laurentiis impacted his life and career.
|1980||Flash Gordon||Flash Gordon|
|1986||My Chauffeur||Battle Witherspoon|
|1987||Jane and the Lost City||Jungle Jack Buck|
|1988||Under the Gun||Mike Braxton|
|1988||Silent Assassins||Sam Kettle|
|1989||One Man Force||Pete|
|1989||Trigon Fire||Dr. James Ford|
|1990||In Gold We Trust||Jeff Slater|
|1992||Maximum Force||Michael Crews|
|1992||The Other Woman||Mike Florian||Direct-to-video|
|1993||DaVinci's War||Jim Holbrook|
|1993||Fist of Honor||Fist|
|1993||Lady Dragon 2||Reb|
|1993||Thunder in Paradise||David Kilmer||Direct-to-video|
|1995||Fists of Iron||Tyler Green|
|1995||Texas Payback||Louis Gentry|
|1996||Where Truth Lies||James|
|1996||The Killer Inside||Steve Davis|
|1996||R.I.O.T.: The Movie||Jimmy O'Brien||Direct-to-video|
|1996||Earth Minus Zero||Marshal Heller|
|1996||Baja Run||Carl Brubaker|
|1996||American Tigers||Sergeant Major Ransom|
|2000||Down 'n Dirty||Stanton James|
|2001||Van Hook||Uncle Dwayne|
|2002||Psychotic||Dr. Donald Westlake|
|2017||Head Games||Spokesman||Short film|
|2018||Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece||Flash / Man with the Golden Fleece|
|2019||One of the Good Ones||Billy|
|2019||The Silent Natural||Jacob Hoy|
|TBA||Edgar Allan Poe's Decapitarium||Dean Usher|
|1980||Stunts Unlimited||Bo Carlson||TV movie|
|1981–1982||Code Red||Chris Rorchek||17 episodes|
|1984||The A-Team||Eric||Episode: "Semi-Friendly Persuasion"|
|1984||No Man's Land||Eli Howe||TV movie|
|1984||Hunter||Lance Lane||Episode: "The Hot Grounder"|
|1984||Riptide||Rick Beeber||Episode: "Be True to Your School"|
|1985||Hardcastle and McCormick||Grant Miller||Episode: "Too Rich and Too Thin"|
|1985||This Wife for Hire||Tommy Sellers||TV movie|
|1986||1st & Ten||Johnny Valentine||6 episodes|
|1987||The Spirit||Spirit / Denny Colt||TV movie|
|1987–1988||The Highwayman||The Highwayman||10 episodes|
|1989||L.A. Takedown||Jimmy||TV movie|
|1991||Shades of L.A.||BJ Makowski||2 episodes|
|1991||P.S. I Luv U||Luke||Episode: "I'd Kill to Direct"|
|1992||The Hat Squad||Victory Smith||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1993||Key West||Commander Beauregard Richards||Episode: "The Greening"|
|1993||Cobra||Sgt. Clay Miller / Royce||2 episodes|
|1993||Baywatch||Ken Jordan||2 episodes|
|1993–1995||Renegade||Haggerty / Nicky Griffin / Earl Lyons||3 episodes|
|1993–1997||Walker, Texas Ranger||Mick Stanley / Tommy Williams / Samuel J. Bodine||2 episodes|
|1994||Thunder in Paradise||David Kilmer||2 episodes|
|1995||Diagnosis: Murder||Lt. 'Buck' Denton||Episode: "Sea No Evil"|
|1995||Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder||TV movie|
|1996||Pacific Blue||Rolf||Episode: "Burnout"|
|1997||Conan the Adventurer||General Knorr||Episode: "The Ruby Fruit Forest"|
|1998–2001||Hollywood Safari||Troy Johnson||23 episodes|
|1999||L.A. Heat||Randy Harden / Sullivan||2 episodes|
|1999||Silk Stalkings||Sidney||2 episodes|
|1999||Stargate SG-1||Aris Boch||Episode: "Deadman Switch"|
|2001||Black Scorpion||Space Case||Episode: "Photo Finish"|
|2007||Flash Gordon||Krebb||Episode: "Revelations"|
|1993||Return to Zork||Blind Bowman|
- Adams, Casey (March 17, 2017). "'Flash Gordon' actor Sam J. Jones shares impact of role, character and visit to Salt Lake Comic Con". Deseret News. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
- "Sam Jones credits Clint Eastwood for 'Flash Gordon' career at Tidewater Comicon". filmfad.com. May 25, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Sea-Tac Flyers (1973-1977) Burien Flyers (1978-80)". Greater Northwest Football Association. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- Lodge, Jack (1992). Hollywood: Sixty Great Years. New York: Barnes & Noble. p. 572. ISBN 978-1-5661-9606-2. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- Wilson, Karen E (December 1980). "Sam J. Jones: A New Career is Born for the Latest Portrayer of America's Original Space Hero, Flash Gordon". Starlog. 41.
- Ebert, Roger (1987). Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion. Andrews, McMeel & Parker. ISBN 978-0-8362-6212-4. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- "Mike Hodges: "Flash Gordon was a bumpy ride… "". Total Sci-fi Online. Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- Feldberg, Isaac (February 11, 2019). "Actor Sam J. Jones talks about 'Life After Flash' documentary". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Sam J Jones interview: Flash Gordon , Ted 2, Flash remake denofgeek.com
- Jayson, Jay (September 6, 2017). "Happy Birthday! Sam J. Jones Turns 62 Years Old Today". Comicbook.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- McKenzie, Steven (September 10, 2013). "Flash Gordon: Actor Sam J Jones on the Skye connection". BBC News. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- Pinchefsky, Carol (November 8, 2017). "Flash Gordon star Sam Jones looks back on the film, his career mistakes and personal Triumphs". Syfy Wire. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- Valcourt, Keith (September 11, 2016). "'Flash Gordon' star Sam J. Jones on Seth MacFarlane and 'Ted' films". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Life After Flash". lifeafterflash.com. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Lopez, Kristen (February 23, 2019). "'Life After Flash' Acts As A Dual Celebration And Redemption Of Flash Gordon's Leading Man". Forbes. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- "Sam J Jones". Empire. 91: 44. 1997.