Sonny Jones, a musician turned stuntman who performed in television shows and films, has died in Granada Hills. He was 60.
Jones spent more than 20 years in show business, doubling for Charles Bronson in “From Noon Till Three” and Roddy McDowall in “Planet of the Apes” and performing stunts in television’s “The Mod Squad” and “Hill Street Blues,” among dozens of other credits.
Jones, a Chatsworth resident, died Wednesday of lung disease, said his wife, Susan Jones.
He was born John A. Jones on May 8, 1930, in Shreveport, La., where he was raised on a ranch. A singer and guitar player, Jones toured in bands with Johnny Horton and Hank Williams Sr., playing in Nashville, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, his wife said. Both men were his brothers-in-law.
A few years after moving to Los Angeles in the late 1950s, he met stuntmen Hal Needham and Tony Epper while playing at a club on San Fernando Road, Needham said. Jones practiced Western stunts, including fights and high falls, in Needham’s back yard under the supervision of both stuntmen. In exchange, Jones gave them guitar lessons, Needham said.
Jones’ knowledge of horsemanship helped land him stunt work and small acting roles in TV’s “Bonanza” and “The Wild Wild West.” In 1987, Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards acknowledged his accomplishments with the Governor’s Award.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years; daughters Shawn, Sheryl and Kimberly Jones, all of Chatsworth; mother, Mary L. Jones of Shreveport, La. ; a brother, Al Jones of Woodland Hills, and a sister, Billie Jean Horton of Shreveport.
A service is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at J.T. Oswald Mortuary Chapel, 6944 Reseda Blvd., in Reseda, which is handling the arrangements. Burial will follow at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth.