L.Q. Jones, Actor in Sam Peckinpah Classics and Director of ‘A Boy and His Dog,’ Dies at 94

L.Q. Jones, a veteran character actor whose career spanned seven decades, died Saturday of natural causes at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 94 years old.

Jones’ death was confirmed by his grandson, Erté deGarces. DeGarces shared that Jones died surrounded by his family.

Born Justice Ellis McQueen on Aug. 19, 1927 in Beaumont, Texas, Jones attended the University of Texas at Austin where he met Sue Lewis, his wife of 23 years. The two divorced in the 1970s.

McQueen took on his stage name, L.Q. Jones, with his first film role in the 1955 Raoul Walsh film “Battle Cry.” Jones would wear the name through his entire screen acting career. His most recent turn came in 2006 with Robert Altman’s final film “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Jones collaborated with several of the most established directors of mid-20th century Hollywood, including Walsh, Don Siegel for “An Annapolis Story” and Mervyn LeRoy for “Toward the Unknown.” He was also a regular supporting player in Sam Peckinpah’s action-heavy westerns, with roles in “The Wild Bunch,” “Ride the High Country,” “Major Dundee,” “The Battle of Cable Hogue” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Near the end of the century, Jones also took roles in Martin Campbell’s “The Mask of Zorro,” Roland Emmerich’s “The Patriot” and Martin Scorsese’s “Casino.”

Along with accruing 60 screen acting credits in film over his career, Jones was a regular in the world of TV. He mostly appeared in western series including “Gunsmoke,” “The Virginian,” “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide,” “The Rifleman,” “Have Gun – Will Travel” and “The Big Valley.”

L.Q. Jones on the set of the series “Cheyenne” in the 1950’s. - Credit: Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
L.Q. Jones on the set of the series “Cheyenne” in the 1950’s. - Credit: Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Jones’ career also extended beyond screen acting, producing four independent features over his life. He produced, directed and wrote the 1975 feature “A Boy and His Dog,” which is adapted from Harlan Ellison’s novella of the same name. Jones began the project as an executive producer, but took over writing and directing responsibilities as other collaborators fell through.

A post-apocalyptic black comedy, “A Boy and His Dog” follows a teenager and his telepathic dog as they fight for survival in the southwestern U.S. of 2024, a time when nuclear fallout grips the world. Starring a young Don Johnson and Jason Robards, Jones’ fellow Peckinpah alum, the film has garnered the reputation of a cult classic over the years, with Jones stating that director George Miller cited it as an influence for his “Mad Max” series.

Jones is survived by his sons, Randy McQueen and Steve Marshall, and by his favorite daughter, Mindy McQueen.

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