The Wild Bunch Star L.Q. Jones Has Died At 94

Following an eclectic career in Hollywood that spanned seven decades, L.Q. Jones passed away on July 9, 2022. His grandson Erté deGarces informed The Hollywood Reporter that the veteran character actor died of natural causes at the age of 94 in his Hollywood Hills home.

Jones was born Justus Ellis McQueen Jr. in Beaumont, Texas on August 19, 1927. After studying law at the University of Texas in Austin, he tried working as a farm hand in Nicaragua, a stand-up comedian, and a professional athlete in baseball and football. But he broke into the movie business when his college roommate Fess Parker, who would come to be known as the titular characters in "Davy Crockett" and "Daniel Boone," suggested that he join him in Los Angeles to give acting a try.

Thanks to a hand-drawn map to Warner Brother provided by Parker, as he recalls to Diabolique Magazine, McQueen found himself in the presence of director Raoul Walsh, who eventually cast the recent Texas transplant in the 1955 film "Battle Cry" in the role of L.Q. Jones. At the request of the studio, McQueen adopted the name of the character as his stage name and it followed him throughout his career to his final film in 2006, Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion."

Have gun, will travel

With 165 film and television credits to his name over the course of 50 years, Jones became known for his work in Westerns. He regularly worked with award-winning filmmaker Sam Peckinpah as a supporting player in such films as "The Wild Bunch," "Major Dundee," and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." He would also go on to appear on iconic western shows such as "Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," "Wagon Train," "Rawhide," and "Have Gun – Will Travel."

In addition to Peckinpah, Jones worked with a number of the biggest names in all of entertainment. He worked with great filmmakers such as Don Siegel, Martin Campbell, Roland Emmerich, and Martin Scorsese. Some of his co-stars included Charles Bronson, William Holden, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, and Antonio Banderas. Jones even worked with Elvis Presley for three movies: "Love Me Tender," "Flaming Star," and "Stay Away Joe."

However, Jones' career wasn't limited to his work onscreen. He was also an accomplished writer, director, and producer. His most prominent project on the other side of the camera was an adaptation of science fiction legend Harlan Ellison's novella "A Boy and His Dog." The post-apocalyptic black comedy about a boy and his telepathic dog starring Don Johnson of "Miami Vice" fame has become a cult classic that inspired a number of works including the video game series "Fallout" and George Miller's "Mad Max" movies.

Though his last film was in 2006, L.Q. Jones mentioned in the Diabolique Magazine interview that he would have happily kept working as an actor until his final days if he found the right projects. But he still lives on in his extensive body of work and his three children Randy, Steve, and Mindy. We at /Film send our condolences to his family and loved ones.