R.I.P. L.Q. Jones, classic Western character actor

He also made his mark on the big screen, working with some of Hollywood's best directors and acting alongside everyone from Elvis to Robert De Niro.

The Everett Collection

Though he’s perhaps best remembered for his many outlaw roles in classic TV Westerns, L.Q. Jones started his career in military movies. He even took his stage name from his first character, Private L.Q. Jones, in the 1955 film Battle Cry. He was credited as Justus E. McQueen for that debut role, a name that might have stolen Steve McQueen’s thunder had Justus kept using it professionally.

Jones appeared in the Navy movie An Annapolis Story and the Korean war drama Target Zero which both also hit theaters in 1955. In fact, Jones was busy his first year in Hollywood! Later in ’55 he played Clint Walker’s sidekick, Smitty, in three first-season episodes of Cheyenne.

In 1956, Jones remained busy. He had a small role as Pardee Fleming in the Elvis movie Love Me Tender as well as parts in films Toward the Unknown, Between Heaven and Hell and Santiago.

Jones finished the Fifties with more war films (Men in War, Torpedo Run, Battle of the Coral Sea) and Westerns (Gunsight Ridge, Buchanan Rides Alone, Warlock). In 1960, he appeared in the Glen Ford historical epic Cimarron.

The Sixties cemented his reputation as a go-to cowboy and gunslinger actor. He appeared on TV in The Rifleman, Have Gun – Will Travel, Laramie, Wagon Train, Rawhide, The Big Valley, Gunsmoke and more. He also put down the gun belt to appear in shows like Perry Mason and My Favorite Martian.

On the big screen, Jones acted in two more Elvis flicks (Flaming Star and Stay Away, Joe) as well as the Clint Eastwood adventure Hang ’Em High and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch.

During the Seventies and Eighties, Jones appeared in classic series like CHiPs, The Incredible Hulk, Charlie’s Angels and The A-Team. He also wrote and directed the 1975 cult classic apocalyptic dark comedy A Boy and His Dog starring Don Johnson.

Later in his career, Jones played Pat Webb in Martin Scorsese’s Casino and Three-Fingered Jack in The Mask of Zorro.

One of the most recognizable faces from TV Westerns, L.Q. Jones was 94.

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ruswilinc 21 months ago
His recurring role as Belden on The Virginian / The Men from Shiloh doesn't get attention, and that is where I know him best.
MaryPineda 21 months ago
I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. I never met him but I did know his son Steve through a mutual friend. I always enjoyed seeing L.Q. Jones on TV. My condolences to his family.
RobbieinTokyo 21 months ago
I remember him in so many things, from a baddie in White Line Fever to a goodie in Knight Rider. But I never knew, before reading this, that he wrote and directed 'A Boy and his Dog'. WOw.
Mike 21 months ago
Another weird movie that L.Q. Jones wrote: The Brotherhood Of Satan.
L.Q. played a good guy: the local sheriff who had to contend with the title organization in his small town, assisted by his not-too-smart deputy.
And that deputy was - Alvy Moore (aka Hank Kimball from Green Acres)!
And not only that -
- Alvy Moore co-wrote the movie with L.Q. Jones!
Svengoolie, take note ...
alesis 21 months ago
I remember him in The Virginian as Belden. He was a cool cowboy
JohnGrant 21 months ago
I remember him as the gun dealer on Columbo
Conall JohnGrant 21 months ago
Yes that was a great part 👍
hinspect 21 months ago
The last movie I watched with him was "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins 👍
kbr5675 21 months ago
May he RIP. He was an amazing actor. I had a huge crush on him. Deepest Condolences to his family & friends.
BenSchockley 21 months ago
Great Actor!! I loved him in White Line Fever, Lone Wolf McQuade, and Renegade. RIP.
JL1965 21 months ago
RIP LQ Jones .. Great character of all my favorite westerns .. Also did the film “The Jack Bull” with John Cusack and John Goodman .. Great film .. Thanks for the memories RIP
teire 21 months ago
Although he is intrinsically familiar to me, I could not place him in any particular show/episode, then saw him this morning on Perry Mason — what a charmer. Rest in peace, and thank you.
Rob 21 months ago
He was also in Lone Wolf McQuade.
Runeshaper 21 months ago
R.I.P. L.Q. Jones. Thanks for everything!
Robertp 21 months ago
Fantastic and memorable actor. He was one of a few that added so much flavor to anything he did. Loved him In Gunsmoke. He and Jack Elam were two of my favorite bad guys. My very best to the family.
Zip 21 months ago
Another guy whom you know his face, but the name not so much.
He also played an old bounty hunter on an episode of what could be considered a modern-day Western, "Renegade."
And another real survivor, at 94. It does take a lot to live to that age, considering all the things that can kill you.
Slugger49 Zip 21 months ago
He was good in Lone Wolf Mcquaid
StrayCat 21 months ago
When the Cheyenne series began it looked as if the L.Q. Jones character (Smitty) was going to be Cheyenne's sidekick. But after a few episodes he was gone. I suppose the producers figured that Cheyenne was better off as a loner.
BorisK 21 months ago
I forgot to add ... Walter Brennan, Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney) and John Carradine all lived in Camarillo/Ventura during the 1960s. Went to school with Buttram's daughter (at Robynaire). My parents saw the Carradine's at relatives homes out in Oxnard. Walter Brennan was always Grand Marshall of the Camarillo Christmas Parade.
bdettlingmetv BorisK 21 months ago
I remember that. In the 70s my mom had an apartment in Oxnard in the "Channel Islands" neighborhood. One day in the grocery store parking lot an elderly gentleman unfolded himself out of a classic Mercedes coupe and went into the store as we were leaving. My mom stopped cold in her tracks and stared after him. "Do you know who that was?!!" JOHN CARRADINE!!" I'm sure he heard her; she always was a 'fangirl' when encountering celebrity. Me? I was a whelp of 16 then and had no real idea of who that was other than he must be related to David or something.
BorisK 21 months ago
We grew up in Camarillo, CA in the 1960s, my brother's best friend then was LQ Jones' son, named Steve McQueen (LQ's real name was Justice McQueen). Steve's mom, Sue, was a wonderful lady with a great Texan accent. We stayed over at their house a lot, usually camped out back in a huge treehouse -- they lived in a big house overlooking Camarillo up in Camarillo Heights. We'd see LQ on weekends, he was usually resting from a week in Hollywood in his blue terry-cloth bathrobe. He was a quiet guy but always nice to us. One thing I remember is he had brought home, for Steve, all kinds of western and civil war props that we would play with, cowboy hats, holsters, prop guns etc. Lastly, LQ drove a cool convertible sports car that he drove to and from L.A. for work. We just thought of him as a regular guy with a job, and we'd always go see his movies at the local theater when they came out. 'Stay Away Joe' with Elvis and 'Major Dundee' with Heston were most memorable. Good times. RIP LQ.
tootsieg 21 months ago
Just saw L Q Jones on Perry Mason this morning. Opened the MeTV app and saw his obit. Very sad. RIP Mr Jones.
EdgarBanks 21 months ago
He was a great actor! In reading about his works, Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch seems to be forgotten. He was great along side Strother Martin in that one!
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