L.Q. Jones, Western Actor & ‘A Boy and His Dog’ Director, Dies at 94

L.Q. Jones, the western star who wrote, produced and directed the sci-fi cult favorite A Boy and His Dog, died at 94 of natural causes on Saturday, July 9, 2022.

Jones was familiar to generations of moviegoers. (Image via movie still)

Born August 19, 1927, in Beaumont, Texas, Jones made his film debut in Battle Cry (1955), going on to appear in a series of Sam Peckinpah classics, including Ride the High Country (1962) and The Wild Bunch (1969).

Jones was also prolific on TV, including on westerns like Laramie (1959-1963), Wagon Train (1959-1964), The Rebel (1960), The Rifleman (1962) and Rawhide (1963-1965).

Having directed a drama called The Devil's Bedroom in 1964 under the name Justus McQueen, Jones made an indelible debut as a writer-producer-director of A Boy and His Dog, a 1975 science fiction film based on the Harlan Ellison novella.

The film, set in 2024, was about a teenage boy (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic U.S. Though not a box-office hit upon release, it received mixed to positive reviews and became a classic over time.

A Boy and His Dog also brought Jones offers to direct other films, but he wound up deciding to forego a follow-up.

“After doing A Boy and His Dog, I had a whole bunch of offers to direct and more money than it cost to make the picture, for chrissakes,” he said. “But I couldn’t see working all that time and all the effort to make that. So I just kept saying no and I finally just said, ‘To hell with it,’ and just stopped and went on with the acting. Because by then I could pretty well pick and choose what I wanted to do.”

A Boy and His Dog was said to have inspired the Mad Max series, and has ranked high among science fiction favorites.

Jones worked from 1955-2006, with other career highlights including White Line Fever (1975), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), episodes of Charlie's Angels (1976-1980) and Columbo (1978), and a recurring role on TV's The Yellow Rose (1983-1984).

His final film appearance came in Robert Altman's final film, A Prairie Home Companion (2006).

Jones is survived by his three children.

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