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Doug Jones (better known as “Dougie” to friends and family) was born on May 24th, 1960 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Robert and Josephine “Fifi” Jones. Doug grew up in the northeast side of the city alongside his three older siblings Bobby, Tommy, and Richie.
Doug was raised with strong influences from both his father and mother. Robert Jones was an entrepreneur and quite the self-starter. With a PhD in Education, Robert taught college for many years teaching high school teachers how to counsel troubled kids at school. Robert also had his own consulting firm for business and industries on their employee training, and served as a representative of the Indiana state legislature. Perhaps most importantly, he also formed a non-denominational Christian church in their house.
Doug’s mother, Fifi, was a homemaker tasked with the grueling work of raising four boys. While she did not hold down her own job, she was far from idle. When Robert was campaigning and in office she was extremely active in assisting him with his position. She was also very diligent with their church, which was and remains a huge part of the Jones’ lives. A kind and open soul, many said that she gave better kitchen counter advice than most therapists.
Tragedy struck the Jones household when Doug was just 18 and attending Ball State University. Robert Jones passed away, leaving a newly-turned-adult Doug fatherless. However, it was due to the sudden passing that the Jones family came together stronger than ever before, and Doug especially found solace in tighter bonds with his older brothers who helped provide guidance and love.
After graduating Bishop Chatard High School, Doug left for college at Ball State University, majoring in Telecommunications and minoring in Theatre. It was here that the seeds of both Doug’s career and love life were sown.
While Doug had always been active in theatre projects before, it was miming that opened up a whole new world for Doug to play in. He was asked to join the campus’ local mime troupe, “Mime Over Matter”, which he readily took to. The combination of his lanky figure and slight contortionist skills leant themselves to his success as a mime, which later played into Doug’s career, such as with Doug’s 2012 picture book, “Mime Very Own Book”. Doug’s journey as a mime also continued into summer jobs and part-time gigs. Miming trained Doug to perform with his entire body for expressionism; he learned to fine-tune the body language of each and every piece of him.
This physicality training was further developed when Doug landed the job of portraying the school’s mascot “Charlie Cardinal” for the basketball season of his junior year of school. Originally the mascot hadn’t done much more than ‘flap his arms’ - and Doug decided to portray the character on a whole new level. The audience and school seemed to agree with his success and enjoyed Doug’s performance as Charlie so much that they made him Charlie Cardinal a second time for his senior year. Portraying Charlie was the first time that Doug was in an uncomfortable, hot, and large costume with limited hearing and vision, but it would be far from his last. It was the perfect place to begin disciplining himself on how to move, act, perform, and energize a crowd as a non-verbal character and laid the foundations for a career he didn’t know he was going to have yet.
Career readying aside, college is also where Doug met Laurie, now Mrs. Laurie Jones, the love of his life. Initially Doug saw Laurie performing on stage in "Godspell" on Valentine's Day, and later that day attended a Valentine's Day dance together as their first date. The two rapidly fell in love and wed on April 14th in 1984. They are very happily married to this day.
In 1985 Doug and Laurie packed up their bags and moved to Los Angeles. Originally Doug was to be a bank manager of a now-defunct banking institute, but after months into his training program, he was fired. Ultimately the plan to move to LA was to pursue the dream of acting, so pursue it he did. Doug’s first major role was as a dancing mummy for a commercial for Southwest Airlines. Doug soon landed another role as an alien on a commercial for a talking baby doll.
It was through Doug’s connections with these commercials that Doug auditioned for and landed one of his big breaks - as the role of Mac Tonight, a late night piano-playing singer crescent moon-headed man that was a new face character for McDonald’s. While Doug did not provide the singing voice for Mac Tonight, he did star in 27 commercials providing the body, movements, and on-screen presence for the character.
While Doug’s commercial background grew (now having been in well over one hundred commercials throughout his career), Doug began to wade into the pool of film. His very first film was an independent horror film called “The Newlydeads” (1988). However, his first major blockbuster and studio film was “Batman Returns” (1992) in which he played the Thin Clown, a member of the gang that served as henchmen for the villainous Penguin. Upon having his audition reviewed by the director Tim Burton, he won the part of the Thin Clown. It is said that Tim enjoyed working with Doug so much that he kept writing more scenes for his clown character to be a part of; Doug's original contract was for seven weeks, and he wound up working for fourteen.
Less than a year later Doug was cast in what remains as one of his most iconic and easily recognizable roles - as the silly, floppy zombie Billy Butcherson from the film “Hocus Pocus” (1993). While at the time its summer release initially tanked, it has since risen to cult classic status and is shown repeatedly on television throughout the Halloween season. Many young people grew up watching Doug as the good zombie who helped defend the children against the wicked witches, and he receives many compliments on the picture to this day.
Four years down the road Doug was cast in what could arguably become to be one of his most important films, “Mimic” (1997). The role itself was minimal, as Doug was a monstrous cockroach type creature called a ‘Long John’ for three days of pick up shoots. What was monumental, however, was Doug’s fated meeting with the film’s director: Guillermo del Toro. One day, while Doug was having lunch on set, a jolly Guillermo plopped himself across from Jones and prompted, “So, tell me everything you’ve ever been in.” Guillermo was fascinated by Doug’s history and background working primarily as an actor of creatures and in heavy prosthetic roles. Giddy like a schoolboy over their discussion, Guillermo readily accepted a card with Doug’s name and information on it, which Guillermo then placed within his wallet.
The 90s was time of building blocks of Doug’s career, sparkling with an array of works such as “Warriors of Virtue” (1997) as Yee, “Tank Girl” (1995) as a Ripper, “Mystery Men” (1999) as Pencilhead, and appearing in TV shows such as “Tales From The Crypt” and “The Weird Al Show”. It was in 1999, however, that Doug landed another one of his more recognizable roles as the lead Gentleman in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” for the episode titled “Hush”. This episode was specifically penned by Joss Whedon and was nominated for two Emmy awards, one for outstanding writing, one for outstanding cinematography. With their unsettling smiles and long, clammy fingers, the Gentlemen of “Hush” were scary enough to invade anyone’s nightmares, but it was the dead silence in the episode that made audiences lean in and pay heed to the fiends. The episode is often quoted as a fan favorite of Buffy enthusiasts.
Several years after pocketing Doug’s information card, Guillermo del Toro gave Doug a phone call with fantastic news. Doug was to play a lead character named Abe Sapien, an intelligent and highly empathetic blue fish man, for a new film called “Hellboy” (2004). The film was the first of a succession of pictures that led to Doug arriving at a new level of prominence in Hollywood. “Hellboy” saw tremendous success in the spring box office, and it was through this role that Doug began to garner a more sound fanbase as well. These fans nicknamed themselves ‘fan sapiens’, and many of them remain loyal supporters to this day. Many fans have claimed that Abe Sapien is Doug’s most relatable character, if not their all time favorite. The character is also one of Doug’s most beloved roles he’s ever stepped into.
Abe Sapien was not a one and done. Doug reprised the role three more times, including twice for the animated films “Hellboy: Sword of Storms” (2006) and “Hellboy: Blood And Iron” (2007). In 2008, Doug once again donned the Abe Sapien prosthetics for “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”. The second film expanded far more upon Abe Sapien, giving new depth, action, and emotions to the character, including a romantic interest in that of the Princess Nuala. Doug also played two additional roles in the film as ‘The Chamberlain’ and as ‘The Angel of Death’. The film won 'Best Fantasy Movie' for the 2008 Scream Awards by Scream TV, and Doug was nominated for 'Best Supporting Actor'. Doug also won ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his representation of Abe in Fangoria’s 2008 Chainsaw Awards, landing him in Fangoria’s Hall Of Fame.
In-between the first and second “Hellboy” films, Doug worked with Guillermo on another project that fans and critics agree is a dark fantasy/drama classic - “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006). Doug played not one but two characters in this twisted fairy tale. His main character was El Fauno, or Pan, the aged faun that ruled over the labyrinth and who both helped and hindered little Ofelia. His secondary character was the haunting Pale Man, a shriveled and shrunken monster whose eyes were on his hands rather than his face and who ate everything in ‘sight’.
Doug was the only native English speaking actor for “Pan’s Labyrinth”. At the outset, Guillermo emailed Doug the script and called and told Doug to pay close attention to the character of Pan, as Doug was the only person that Guillermo could envision playing the role. Overwhelmed by this statement, Doug read the script and was full of emotion, but declined - the film was set to be in Spanish, and Doug just could not see himself doing El Fauno justice. Guillermo, however, convinced Doug that he could mouth other words or even numbers and that they would get someone to voice over him for the Spanish dialect. Doug, however, was not satisfied at simply saying hogwash and having the voice over look ridiculous; Doug sat down and memorized all of his dialogue in Spanish with the correct pronunciations. He also memorized little Ofelia’s lines as well, so as to learn not only the correct timing for when it was his turn to speak (it was very difficult for Doug to hear as his prosthetic head makeup included multiple servos that masked his hearing), but to learn the emotions that he needed to react to as an actor. Doug was bent on making the performance a genuine one, one laden with the complexity he felt the character deserved.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” was a huge success. It won multiple awards, including but not limited to three Academy Awards: Best Achievement In Cinematography, Best Achievement In Art Direction, and Best Achievement In Makeup. It was also nominated for Best Writing Of An Original Screenplay, Best Achievement In Music Of An Original Score, and Best Foreign Language Film Of The Year. It has also won BAFTAs, Saturn Awards, Ariel Awards of Mexico, and more. Since Doug was the only native English speaking actor, he was the primary face of promotion for the film and attended the Oscars on the film’s behalf even though he himself was not nominated.
Backtracking a little, prior to “Hellboy 2”, Doug acquired another impressive role: the Silver Surfer for the 2007 film “Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer”. The Surfer was a very physically demanding role, and emotionally one riddled with stoic mannerisms. Doug had to withdraw into the character and allow himself to be encompassed by the sheer power the Surfer possessed. Doug was originally signed on for multiple films as the compelling and arguably dominant Surfer, but it was not to be, as the films have since been rebooted.
In 2009 Doug took on a more unique role in that it did not involve prosthetic makeup in any way. Doug played an adorable, loving, affectionate, and rather hilarious character named Jerry from the film “My Name Is Jerry”. This leading role is one that might not be as commonly known as say Abe or the Silver Surfer, but Jerry is worth mentioning nonetheless. The film is one that Doug cherishes deeply, as it was put together by Ball State University, his alma mater, and the role was written specifically for him. The role allowed for both laughter and tears (at the time, the first time Doug had cried on camera) in a diverse role with a cast of young creatives who all exuberated energy and excitement. It is a must see film for any fan of Doug’s. Doug won “Best Actor” for the film at the third annual Strasbourg International Film Festival.
Also in 2009 Doug spent a happy four months filming in Paris for “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life”. The film’s makeup team comprised of that from Pan’s Labyrinth, and Doug was brought on as ‘La Gueule’. The movie was one that was artistically-driven, with luscious sets and costumes and titillating scenes of music that sent pleasurable shivers down your spine. Doug’s character was the alter ego of Serge Gainsbourg, constantly pushing Gainsbourg to live life on the edge and take daring chances and push boundaries. Like “Pan’s Labyrinth”, Doug did not speak the native language of the French film, so he had to memorize his lines in a language he did not know. The director was so pleased with Doug’s speech mannerisms that he had the voice over artist copy Doug nearly to a tee. The film won multiple awards, including three César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars), one for Best Actor for Eric Elmosnino who played Gainsbourg, one for Best Sound, and one for Best First Picture for director and screenplay writer Joann Sfar.
It’s worth noting that Doug’s film career is comprised of a number of projects, from shorts to independent films to web series to blockbusters. Some of the other more pronounced works that Doug was involved with during the 00s includes but is far from limited to: “Legion” (2010) as the Ice Cream Man, “The Butterfly Circus” (2009 short) as Otto, “Fear Itself: Skin And Bones” (2008 television episode) as the wendigo Grady Edlund, “Quarantine” (2008) as the Thin Infected Man, the visual remix of “The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari” (2006) as Cesare, “Adaption” (2002) as Augustus Margary, “Men In Black 2” (2002) as Joey, and “The Time Machine” (2002) as the Spy Morlock.
Due to the successes of the likes of the “Hellboy” films, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and more, Doug’s career began to truly flourish with new opportunities arising at every turn. Doug quickly became a highly sought after actor due to being able to work well under heavy prosthetics, not only with athletic endurance and his incredulous acting abilities, but by not complaining even when under pressure or extreme conditions.
Also during this time period is when the web was gaining popularity, and YouTube was a rising star. As such, Doug began taking on more and more independent and web series work. For example, Doug had notable roles in “The Candy Shop” (2010) as The Candy Man, “Battle Jitni: The Danger Element” as Professor Elymas, “The Guild” (2011) as Gerald, “Fallout: Nuka Break” (2011) as Mayor Connors, and “The League of S.T.E.A.M.” (2012) as Theodore Marshall. Doug also co-starred in a multitude of projects from the producing team Mildly Fearsome Films with projects including “Sudden Death!: The Musical” (2010) as Jonathan Wright, “Research” (2012) as Denny, and “Inside The Extras Studio” (2016) as himself, just to name a few.
The recent years have also brought Doug a number of television roles. Prominent roles have included appearing on both “Flash” (2015) and “Arrow” (2015) as the laser-eyed villain ‘Deathbolt’. Doug also appeared on the popular fantasy drama “Teen Wolf” (2014) as William Barrow, a mad man who terrorized the young heroes in an episode called “Galvanize”. In 2015 Doug appeared on “Z Nation” as Scully, a man with a unique ‘mission’. Prior to these shows Doug happily appeared multiple times on the quirky and hilarious television comedy show “The Neighbors” (2012). Doug played Dominique Wilkins, one of the many silly and somewhat clueless aliens that had invaded and taken over a sunny suburb.
It was in 2013 that Doug received his first ever series regular role on a television series. Doug was cast as Cochise, the wise, honorable, and gracious alien who came to Earth to help battle the evil alien invasion in the show “Falling Skies” (2013). Doug was on the show for the third, fourth, and fifth (and final) seasons, doing everything from stunts to riding horses to shooting guns and planning heists and escapes. It was grueling work for Doug, as yet again he was under makeup with limited hearing and vision, but he did so with stride. The show was a hit on TNT and all seasons are now on DVD.
The years 2014-2016 saw Doug in a handful of episodes for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain”, a series about vampires (that often had traits similar with zombies) that have taken over New York City. Doug was the leader of ‘The Ancients’, a small group of three exceedingly elderly but still frighteningly vicious vampires that came before all other vampires and who can communicate telepathically. Doug also played as the original 'Master' in a specific, gory flashback that kicked off the second season of the series. This scene was so important to the franchise that it was directed by Guillermo himself.
Film-wise, Doug has been kept just as busy. In 2015 Doug reunited with Guillermo del Toro for “Crimson Peak” in which he played two female ghosts - Edith’s mother and Lady Sharpe. These were small parts that had a major impact on screen and would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Back in 2012 Doug took on the role of Roger North, a wry man of knowledge and emotion from the odd film “John Dies At The End”. “John Dies At The End” is a film about the effects of being on ‘the sauce’, a mind-enhancing drug, and the world upon which the sauce opens up for a group of teenagers. The film, while obscure, has slowly been gaining traction as a fairly modern cult classic.
Doug accepted a number of independent film roles, starting with “Raze” (2013) as Joseph, the malicious leader of an elite social club that would pit women against themselves in fighting matches to the death. Also in 2013 Doug was in “Dust Of War” as the kind and mindful Jebediah Strumm. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Jebediah helps tend to a camp of bandits and misfits that seek refuge against the enemy. He is also gifted with an ability to see into the future. The year 2014 saw Doug in the role of Dr. Lincoln for “Love In The Time Of Monsters”, a comedy horror about what happens when people in bigfoot costumes turn into zombie creatures at a family getaway cabin in the woods. In 2015 the fabled Operator lore came to life in “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story” where Doug was the infamous villain that stalks upon unsuspecting victims once they have seen his visage or symbol. The horrific tale is closely tied to the Slender Man stories that have spread across the internet like wildfire.
Doug’s career continues to blossom with a burgeoning of new projects that he is deeply involved with. The first we’ll make mention of is “Nosferatu”, currently set for a 2018 release sometime between the spring to fall. The film is a ‘remix’ of the 1922 classic black-and-white horror by F.W. Murnau. Using green screen technology, “Nosferatu” is imposing the actors and actresses over the backdrops and sets and props of the original film. It will thus be following the prime storyline very closely with the new film providing subtle additional scenes to fill in the plot holes the original left behind. Doug will of course be playing the dreaded Count Orlok, fangs and all.
The independent film scene has seen a number of new Doug films lately, but two more illustrious films are a short film named “My Friend Max” (2017 short) and “We’ve Forgotten More Than We Ever Knew” (2017 feature). “My Friend Max” starred Doug as an imaginary friend - Max Mastin - of a little girl named Thea. This emotionally driven film brings both tears of joy and laughter and sadness to a viewing audience as Thea learns that growing up sometimes means letting go. The short is now available for viewing on YouTube. “We’ve Forgotten More Than We Ever Knew” is an intricate, variegated drama telling the account of two of the last human beings alive in a treacherous post-apocalyptic winter world. Doug plays ‘the man in the pool’, a rather mysterious not quite dead, not quite alive man who develops a romantic interest of sort with the film’s female star. It’s a film that grips you throughout, keeping you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very end; “We’ve Forgotten More Than You Ever Knew” is out now on iTunes and Amazon On Demand, and will be available early 2018 on DVD.
Doug’s latest film is making quite the splash. “The Shape Of Water” is a critically acclaimed film and Guillermo del Toro’s latest project. Doug is front and center as ‘the amphibious man’, a creature unlike any other that Doug has played before. Strong, hulking, mesmerizing, and yes, sexy, Doug’s portrayal of the creature is currently being pitched by Fox Searchlight studios as a contender for the Academy Awards’ ‘Best Actor’ award. “The Shape Of Water” took home The Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival where it made its official premiere - the award being the highest honor a film can receive at the esteemed festival. Set in the era of the Cold War, a mute woman, Elisa (played by Sally Hawkins), works as part of a clean up crew at a military and research center. One day she happens upon the creature, and through careful watching and interest, develops a form of communication with him. Their communication, however, develops into something far more, and she vows to help her newfound love escape where he may be free, and where they may be together forever… The film is released in cinemas in the US starting December 8th.
Last, but far from least, Doug has been boldly going where he’s never gone before - starring as First Officer Commander Saru on CBS All Access’ “Star Trek Discovery”. The latest iteration of the Star Trek television show, this series is set ten years before “Star Trek: The Original Series”. It stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham, a Starfleet officer who falls only to rise again. A darker, more robust and visually stunning series, “Star Trek Discovery” is developing its own telling of what it means to be a Star Trek show. The show has received much positive critique, some even saying it’s the best Star Trek yet, and has already been renewed for a second season. Doug’s character Saru is a ‘Kelpien’, a brand new alien species never before seen on Trek. Doug has had the pleasure of developing this new species and being able to put his own personal touches and habits into his Kelpien officer, including his gait and stance, hand gestures, reactions to his ‘threat ganglia’ (little worm-like spindles that pop out of the side of his head when there’s danger), speech mannerisms, and more. Kelpiens are a prey species on his native planet, and as such they are always in tune to danger and possible perils. If there were any animal to relate Saru to, it would be that of a gazelle - long, lithe, and graceful, but fast and quick to react to a hazardous situation - and yes, hooved with cloven feet, as Doug does walk in hoof boots that add an additional five inches to his already 6’4”, 140 lb. frame.
While not shooting “Star Trek Discovery” in Toronto, Doug contentedly lives in Los Angeles with his lovely wife, Mrs. Laurie. Mrs. Laurie is a saint who wears loose sweaters to hide her angel wings. She’s an artist who uses her affluent eye as a retail store decorator. There’s not enough good things that can be said about the beautiful and patient Mrs. Laurie.
Deeply spiritual, Doug and Mrs. Laurie are very active with their church. Doug sits on the Board of Directors for Media Fellowship International and The Greenhouse which are both tailored to Christians in the media arts. Doug’s Christianity remains very important to him and influences much of what he does, including how he treats his fellow man as a lover of humanity. In the words of his mother Fifi before she passed, “I’ve had a good life and I’m excited to meet this Jesus I’ve been singing about in church all these years.” That is why Doug is a Christian to this day.
Having never been able to have children of their own, Doug and Mrs. Laurie unofficially adopted several young people affectionately referred to as their ‘puppies’. These 20 and 30 somethings are near and dear to their hearts, and the Jones' help them in multiple ways, through whatever struggles life throws at them.
Though Doug doesn’t have much free time, when he does, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and puppies, watching fluffy movies on The Hallmark Channel, attending church services, writing, and cutting hair.