Allan Jones


Actor, Singer
Allan Jones

About

Birth Place
Old Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
October 14, 1907
Died
June 27, 1992
Cause of Death
Lung Cancer

Biography

Stalwart, curly-haired American leading man and singer, perhaps best remembered for handling the obligatory romantic role in two Marx Brothers comedies, "A Night at the Opera" (1935) and "A Day at the Races" (1937). Jones also played riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal opposite Irene Dunne in James Whale's marvelous 1936 adaptation of the stage classic "Show Boat." Possessing a genial pers...

Photos & Videos

A Night at the Opera - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
The Boys from Syracuse - Title Lobby Card

Family & Companions

Irene Hervey
Wife
Actor. Married in 1936; divorced in 1957; died on December 20, 1998 at age 89.
Maria Jones
Wife
Survived him.

Biography

Stalwart, curly-haired American leading man and singer, perhaps best remembered for handling the obligatory romantic role in two Marx Brothers comedies, "A Night at the Opera" (1935) and "A Day at the Races" (1937). Jones also played riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal opposite Irene Dunne in James Whale's marvelous 1936 adaptation of the stage classic "Show Boat." Possessing a genial personality and a fine baritone, Jones enjoyed modest success in Hollywood for several years without ever attaining the star status of which he seemed capable. He was played up as a second-string Nelson Eddy, and consequently never developed a distinctive persona of his own. One of his best-remembered moments in film was his singing in "The Firefly" (1937) of the tuneful "The Donkey Serenade," which later became something of a trademark song for Jones. After his film career waned, Jones kept busy with singing tours and stage work, including touring companies of shows from "Guys and Dolls" in the 1950s to "Man of La Mancha" in the 1970s. At one time married to actress and singer Irene Hervey, Jones was the father (by Hervey) of singer Jack Jones.

Life Events

1935

Made film debut in "Reckless"

1937

Performed his signature song, "The Donkey Serenade" in the MGM film "The Firefly", opposite Jeanette MacDonald

1945

Last feature film for nearly two decades, "Senorita from the West"

1964

Returned to films for "Stage to Thunder Rock"

1970

Last acting performance in a feature film, "A Man Called Sledge"

1971

Narrated the adult documentary, "Sub Rosa Rising"

1991

Toured Florida in musical act with son Jack Jones

1992

Completed singing tour of Australia three months before his death

Photo Collections

A Night at the Opera - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's A Night at the Opera (1935), starring the Marx Bros. and directed by Sam Wood.
The Boys from Syracuse - Title Lobby Card
Here is the Title Lobby Card from Universal's The Boys from Syracuse (1940). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Rose-Marie (1936) - Romeo And Juliet Opening in a fancy Montreal theater, Jeanette MacDonald as the star Marie de Flor, performing in the French opera Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod, Jules Barbier and Marcel Carre, big troubles coming in her personal life, in Rose-Marie, 1936 also starring Nelson Eddy.
Firefly, The (1937) - Salute The New King Crash, bang, boom, glory, the gung-ho opening from MGM and director Robert Z. Leonard, introducing only the supporting player Tom Rutherford as Spain’s new King Ferdinand VII, in Madrid, 1808, French occupiers observing, from The Firefly, 1937, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Allan Jones.
Firefly, The (1937) - Love Is Like A Firefly The second number but the first vocal for Jeanette MacDonald, Rudolf Friml’s tune and English lyric by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest, as Madrid entertainer Nina Maria, and we know she’s only flirting with Don Diego (Allan Jones) in order to shake an amorous French officer, in MGM’s The Firefly, 1937.
Firefly, The (1937) - Donkey Serenade Seemingly carefree Spaniard Don Diego (Allan Jones) has pursued singer and secret spy Nina Maria (Jeanette MacDonald) en route to her mission in France, her disinterest cueing what would become Jones’ signature song (music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, lyric by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest), to the livestock, accompanied by driver Manuel Alvarez Maciste, in MGM’s The Firefly, 1937.
Day At The Races, A (1937) - I Told You To Throw That Race! Harpo Marx is introduced as mute jockey Stuffy, who recklessly wins a race he was supposed to throw, pursued by crooked banker Morgan (Douglas Dumbrille), aided by his horse owner pal (Allan Jones) and then race track hustler Tony (brother Chico), early in A Day At The Races, 1937.
Night at the Opera, A (1935) - Fiorello, Tomasso Fiorello (Chico Marx) meets Tomasso (Harpo Marx) backstage for a salami exchange before visiting with old pal and singer Ricardo (Allan Jones) in an early scene from A Night at the Opera, 1935.
Night at the Opera, A (1935) - State Room This is most of the famed "State Room" sequence featuring Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx along with Harry "Zoop" Welsh as the steward and too many others in A Night at the Opera, 1935.
Everybody Sing (1938) - Quainty, Dainty Me Ricky (Allan Jones) and Judy (Judy Garland) observe as Russian servant Olga (Fanny Brice) reveals hidden talents, performing "Quainty, Dainty Me" by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby in Everybody Sing, 1938.
Everybody Sing (1938) - Opening Credits Opening title sequence for producer Harry Rapf's MGM variety programmer Everybody Sing, 1938, starring Judy Garland and Allan Jones, featuring performances by Fanny Brice.
Show Boat (1936) - Young Girls Like Us... Magnolia (Irene Dunne) leads the cast (Queenie Smith, Allan Jones, Sammy White, et al) through mishaps and intrusions from a patron (Stanley Fields) in James Whale's Show Boat, 1936, from the Edna Ferber novel.

Trailer

Family

Gail Christiansen
Step-Daughter
Mother, Irene Hervey.
Jack Jones
Son
Entertainer, singer. Mother, Irene Hervey.
Ted Jones
Son
Mother, Maria Jones.

Companions

Irene Hervey
Wife
Actor. Married in 1936; divorced in 1957; died on December 20, 1998 at age 89.
Maria Jones
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography