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The Stunt Men and Women

(Courtesy of Scott L. Jones)

Jack Jones and his horse 'Babe'.  On the back of this photo is written the 'Pocatello Kid'.

Above, Jack Jones doubling for star Wally Wales (below) in 1930s shorts for William Pizor's Imperial Pictures --- check out the shirts and buttons.  Click HERE to see the full cast and crew photo.

(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Son Jack doesn't recall if the above 4174 photo of his father was for Central Casting , Riding Actors or the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Jack Jones

Real name: Ferris John Jones
Nickname: The Pocatello Kid

1906 - 1995

Special thanks to Jack Lawrence Jones, and his son, Scott L. Jones, for sharing information and photos of their father and grandfather, respectively.
October, 2014: Jack Jones - your old e-mail address is no longer valid. Please contact the Old Corral webmaster.

Jack Jones was born on March 5, 1906 in Bingham Canyon (City), Utah and passed away on May 26th, 1995 in Glendora, California.  He was a multi-purpose performer in the early sound western, doing stunts/doubling, bit parts and supporting roles, and playing a banjo and singing with groups such as the Arizona Wranglers and Range Riders.  You'll find more on Jones under the Old Corral sections Singers-Musicians-Groups and The Henchies.

Jones' son Jack writes about the accident that ended his father's movie career:

"It was March 26th, 1935. My father was on location at Frenchy's Ranch, in Newhall, California, waiting to film some action scenes for a western called THE DAWN RIDER starring John Wayne.

Dad was talking to some of his fellow actors when John Wayne drove up with his car towing a brand new camping trailer. John invited Jack and the others to look at his new prize. Looking inside, Jack saw that the inside was empty, with the exception of a mattress on the floor. Jack, jokingly, said "John, this would sure make a good ambulance!" (In the 1930's many of the new trailers came as a shell and the buyer had to finish the inside themselves with cabinets etc.)

Later that day, in the middle of an action scene, Dad was driving a wagon at full speed and had just pushed a dummy off the seat beside him, to fake an accident, when the whole front seat collapsed. He was thrown over the side of the wagon. He managed to grab the side of the wagon and was being dragged when the wagon hit a rock or bump and he lost his grip.

He felt a crunch and a snap when the rear wheel of the wagon went over his left leg. When the dust cleared away, he looked down to see the bottom of his left boot. His leg was still in it. It was folded double.

Yakima Canutt came running to help and pulled out his pocketknife and started to cut Dad's boot off. My father said "Yak, don't hurt my boot". Yak cut off the boot by slicing the seams. (The boot was later sewed together and you can't see any sign of damage).

They loaded Dad into John Wayne's (ambulance) trailer and headed for the hospital. The driver was a relative or friend of Wayne, and someone was in the trailer to watch over Dad. During the race to the hospital, the driver spun-out the car and trailer in an intersection. The trailer didn't turn over, but my Father said the fellow watching over him turned white.

The doctors at the hospital told my Father that his leg couldn't be repaired and would have to be amputated. Dad said "No! You fix it the best way you can!"

After many prayers from Mom, Dad, family and friends, the crises was over. When the doctors came in to review the results, one of them cried tears as he didn't think it was possible that Dad's leg could be saved. Dad's left leg ended up 1 3/4 inches shorter and with a 20% internal rotation.

That was the end of Jack Jones' movie career. He then worked for the Thomas Sign Co. in Los Angeles doing poster work and silk screen printing. During WW2, Dad worked for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft.

When Dad was hurt in the film THE DAWN RIDER, he was working for Monogram Pictures, working 6 days a week and earning $100 weekly plus extra for each stunt. I think Dad got the 'Pocatello Kid' nickname from the character he played in one or two of the films he did for Roundup Pictures in 1929.

During my Father's later years, we spoke about his filmwork and any special stunts or situations that could help me identify films that he might have done.  Following are some of Dad's remembrances:

He was doubling John Wayne and was to ride a horse off a steep slope and have the horse fall. Dad tried several times, and even blindfolded the horse, but could not get the horse to fall. Dad said it was almost as if the horse had a gyroscope in him. The director said "Jack, we are only going to do it one more time. If the horse doesn't fall, you fall off the horse". Dad said O.K., but thought to himself "how would it look to the audience if the hero fell off his horse". They shot the scene again, the horse didn't fall, so Dad fell off the horse. A year or two later, I was watching a video of five John Wayne's B westerns and saw Wayne fall off his horse. The name of the film was: TEXAS TERROR. I checked later scenes and saw Dad doing the Virginia Reel in a barn dance scene.

Dad mentioned that he did a Gene Autry film where he had to wear a helmet/mask of some sort (webmaster's note: has to be Autry's THE PHANTOM EMPIRE serial). They had scenes of groups of them, on horseback, charging down hills and looking very menacing.  The helmets only had a small horizontal slot for the riders to see out of. Dad's slot was about an inch or more above his eye level so he had to hold his head down just to see where he was going. He told me that you could tell who the riders were because they all had scabs on their noses where the helmets had banged around and left their mark."

Jack Lawrence Jones
December, 2000

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Jack Jones:

(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above Jack and Kitty Jones. Son Jack notes that the Riding Actors Association banner/flag was made by his mother Katharine (Kitty) and father, and recalls that the Riding Actors were absorbed in the Screen Actors Guild.  (Webmaster's note: the Riding Actors may have become part of the Screen Extras Guild.  Kermit Maynard was a later rep for the Extras Guild, and that organization ultimately was absorbed into SAG, the Screen Actors Guild.)

(Courtesy of Jack Jones)
(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above left are Katharine (nickname of Kitty) and Jack Jones in a 1985 photo.  On the right are Jack and Kitty in a crop from a staged publicity still from a Reb Russell oater, possibly OUTLAW RULE (Willis Kent, 1935). Kitty wasn't the heroine --- she subbed for the leading lady who couldn't make the photo shoot. (If this still is related to OUTLAW RULE, the heroine would be Betty Mack.) Click HERE to see the full photo.

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