US actor. A powerful screen presence, Jones manages to convey intelligence, physicality, and impending violence in his film roles. He earned an Academy Award for his performance as an obsessive US marshall in The Fugitive (1993).
Despite a lengthy career it was not until the 1990s that Jones began to receive much recognition. Roles in JFK (1991), Cobb (1994), Batman Forever (1995), and Men in Black (1997) saw him diversify and extend his range. He received later acclaim for his roles in the Coen brothers's No Country for Old Men and Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah (both 2007).
Jones shared a room with future US vice-president Al Gore while on a scholarship at Harvard University, an institution from which he graduated cum laude in 1969 with a degree in English literature. An accomplished athlete, Jones played as offensive guard in a celebrated American Football match between Harvard and Yale in 1968, which ended tied at 29–29. He first appeared on Broadway in 1969 in A Patriot for Me, and would continue to feature on the stage in such plays as Blue Boys and Ulysses in Nighttown in the early 1970s, while also securing a slot on the television soap opera One Life to Live (1971–75). With his dark features and distinctive Texan accent, he made his film debut as Hank in Love Story (1970). In 1995 he co-wrote and directed the television film The Good Old Boys. Among his other credits as actor are the television miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989) and the films Rolling Thunder (1977), Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Stormy Monday (1988), Double Jeopardy (1999), Space Cowboys (2000), The Missing (2003), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), and The Company Men (2010).