Edgar Jones

Active - 1916 - 1921  |   Born - 1880 in New York, NY  |   Genres - Drama, Western

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One of the most popular -- if least authentic -- of the early Western stars, handsome stage actor Edgar Jones was hired by the Philadelphia-based Lubin Manufacturing Company in 1913, reportedly on the grounds that he looked like a cowboy from a Frederick Remington painting. Jones did his first series of Lubin Western and Civil War one-reelers on location in California but was then shipped back to the less than authentic surroundings of Betzwood, the studio's new plant in suburban Pennsylvania. Jones was created a director soon after and married his leading lady, Louise Huff. His most important film, a four-reel re-enactment of The Battle of Shiloh (1913), in which he played Captain Cook, was directed by Joseph Smiley; Jones' own directorial prowess was reportedly minimal and he was consigned to assisting more qualified overseers on the studio's new "feature" films. Continuing to make mostly one-reel Westerns, the resourceful Jones would create the Southwest by dressing up a few nearby fields with a couple of cactus plants and photographing his scenes against a painted canvas backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Less than satisfied in the long run with the confinements of Betzwood, Jones and Huff left Lubin in 1915 in favor of California, where Jones directed Mary Miles Minter and Louise Lovely. As an actor, Jones made his final Western in 1921, Buck Jones' The Big Punch, in which he played the sheriff. In 1922, he starred in, produced, directed, and wrote Lonesome Corners, a rustic comedy-romance: Jones seems to have drifted out of the film business soon after. Although sometimes billed Ed Jones, this pioneering actor/director should not be confused with B-Western regular Ed "Kingfisher" Jones.