Orlando Jones

Active - 1998 - 2016  |   Born - Apr 10, 1968 in Mobile, Alabama, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Fantasy, Drama

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A comic actor who began his Hollywood career working behind the scenes, Orlando Jones is more than just the popular pitch man exhorting the 2000-2001 TV audience to "Make 7-Up Yours."

Raised in South Carolina, Jones discovered acting when he was cast in a school play while attending the College of Charleston. Aiming to make it in show business one way or another, Jones also formed Homeboy's Productions and Advertising while in college. Jones got his break, however, when a Hollywood visitor in Charleston saw him perform and signed him up, leading to a writing job on the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World. Jones then wrote for the sitcom Roc in 1991 and became a producer on The Sinbad Show in 1993.

Jones finally got to act as well as write when he was cast in Fox's sketch comedy show Mad TV in 1995. After two seasons, Jones left the series and moved to films with a small part in Seinfeld co-creator Larry David's first feature Sour Grapes (1998). Jones managed to work consistently in movies from then on, with bit parts in Mike Judge's comedy Office Space (1999) and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), as well as a starring role in Barry Levinson's praised but little-seen nostalgia piece Liberty Heights (1999). In 2000, Jones made his mark in TV advertising as the humorously incompetent advocate for 7-Up, enhancing his potential as a comic draw. Jones' lead role as one of the hapless scabs in The Replacements (2000) and a multi-character turn in Harold Ramis' version of Bedazzled (2000) further revealed his goofy versatility. After his action-comedy vehicle Double Take was a January 2001 washout, Jones was poised to team with Ivan Reitman for the latter's summer 2001 sci-fi comedy Evolution.

Still, Jones retired as 7-Up's pitch man in early 2002, and would spend the 2000's nurturing his film and TV career, appearing in Runaway Jury and Drumline, as well as TV shows, like The Adventures of Chico and Guapo and Rules of Engagement.

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Factsheet

  • Named after baseball star Orlando Cepeda by his father, a former Phillies player.
  • Once worked as a doorman at a hotel in Charleston, SC.
  • Got his start in Hollywood as a writer for A Different World, then went on to write for Roc and The Sinbad Show. 
  • Appeared in Office Space in 1999 with fellow Mad TV alum David Herman; later that year, he had his first major film role in Liberty Heights.
  • Appeared in a series of popular 7 Up soda commercials.
  • Hosted a short-lived late-night talk show, The Orlando Jones Show, on FX in 2003.
  • Acted in a 2006 production of Fences at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA.
  • Cocreated the 2006 animated series The Adventures of Chico and Guapo and provided a voice for one of the show's characters.
  • Proposed to his wife in 2008 by putting an antique engagement ring around his pet bulldog's neck.
  • Is a vegan, but will cook meat for his friends.