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Also Known As: David Hugh Jones Died: September 18, 2008
Born: February 19, 1934 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Poole, England, GB Profession: director, producer, professor (drama)

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This respected British director of stage and TV brought his impressive background to films in the mid-1980s, helming a handful of small, cerebral films while keeping busy in other media.After graduating from the University of Cambridge with two degrees, Jones began a career as a producer and director for BBC-TV. In 1964, he was named artistic controller of the Royal Shakespeare Company and eventually rose to the rank of associate director. From the mid-60s to the mid-70s, Jones directed scores of plays in Britain, including several by Shakespeare and Chekhov. He immigrated to the US in the late 70s to accept a job as artistic director at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and later became a professor at the Yale School of Drama.Jones began his film career with "Betrayal" (1983), an adaptation of Harold Pinter's play that failed to excite the public in the US. Basically a three-hander, the film detailed a love affair in reverse chronology, from its ending backward to its beginning. It featured strong performances from Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge, but what worked on stage didn't on film. Three years passed before Jones directed his next film, the quiet romantic comedy "84 Charing Cross...

This respected British director of stage and TV brought his impressive background to films in the mid-1980s, helming a handful of small, cerebral films while keeping busy in other media.

After graduating from the University of Cambridge with two degrees, Jones began a career as a producer and director for BBC-TV. In 1964, he was named artistic controller of the Royal Shakespeare Company and eventually rose to the rank of associate director. From the mid-60s to the mid-70s, Jones directed scores of plays in Britain, including several by Shakespeare and Chekhov. He immigrated to the US in the late 70s to accept a job as artistic director at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and later became a professor at the Yale School of Drama.

Jones began his film career with "Betrayal" (1983), an adaptation of Harold Pinter's play that failed to excite the public in the US. Basically a three-hander, the film detailed a love affair in reverse chronology, from its ending backward to its beginning. It featured strong performances from Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge, but what worked on stage didn't on film. Three years passed before Jones directed his next film, the quiet romantic comedy "84 Charing Cross Road" (1986).

"Jacknife" (1989) was an overlooked, character-driven drama adapted from screenwriter Stephen Metcalfe's play "Strange Snow". Jones' understated direction allowed the film's leads, Robert De Niro and Ed Harris (as Vietnam War buddies) and Kathy Baker (as Harris' sister who is drawn to De Niro), to shine. Jones reteamed with Pinter for a remake of "The Trial" (1993). Despite a high-powered cast led by Anthony Hopkins and Kyle MacLachlan, the film was dismissed by critics as inferior to Orson Welles' 1963 version.

Jones has worked extensively in TV, having produced several upper-middlebrow series for the BBC (including "Monitor" and "Play of the Month"). He has directed several notable telefilms including "The Christmas Wife" (HBO, 1988), a romance with Jason Robards and Julie Harris, and two collaborations with writer Richard Nelson for PBS' "American Playhouse" series: "Sensibility and Sense" (1990) starring Elaine Stritch and Jean Simmons; and "The End of a Sentence" (1991), a one-hour monologue starring Edward Herrmann. In 1993, Jones helmed a TV adaptation of John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger", starring Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and Judi Dench. He also directed the AIDS-themed "And Then There Was None" (Lifetime, 1994) and the Civil Rights drama "Sophie and the Moonhanger" (Lifetime, 1996).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Custody of the Heart (2000) Director
2.
  Christmas Carol, A (1999) Director
3.
  Unexpected Life, An (1998) Director
4.
  Time to Say Goodbye? (1997) Director
6.
7.
8.
  And Then There Was One (1994) Director
9.
  Trial, The (1993) Director
10.
  Fire in the Dark (1991) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1954:
Served in British military
:
Served as producer of arts magazine show, "Monitor", at BBC
1961:
Made stage directing debut with three productions at the Mermaid Theatre, London: "Sweet Agonistes", "Purgatory" and "Krapp's Last Tape"
:
Became artistic controller (later associate director) of the Royal Shakespeare Company
1975:
Made NY stage directing debut, "Summerfolk"
:
Produced "Play of the Month" for BBC
1979:
Immigrated to US
:
Served as artistic director of Brooklyn Academy of Music Theatre Company
1981:
Named professor at Yale School of Drama
1983:
Made feature film debut, directing "Betrayal"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Christ's College, University of Cambridge: - 1954
Christ's College, University of Cambridge: - 1957

Notes

Jones is not to be confused with the seemingly endless stream of other David Joneses who work in films, among them two directors, a pilot/aerial coordinator, a pop star (Davy Jones), an actor, a screenwriter, a cinematographer (David Wynn-Jones), a special effects creator and a sound recorder.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sheila Marion Essex Allen Jones. Married October 20, 1964.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John David Jones.
mother:
Gwendolen Agnes Langworthy Jones.
son:
Joseph Luke Allen Jones.
son:
Jesse Gawain Allen Jones.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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