Actor Mickey Jones—best known for popping up as a bearded biker or grizzled blue-collar man in loads of movies and TV shows—has died. A rep for Jones confirmed his death, saying he had been suffering from a “lengthy illness.” Jones was 76.
In 2003, Jones received the National Coalition of Motorcyclists Silver Spoke award for entertainment for his positive portrayal of motorcyclists during his career.
BikerNet reported "After the banquet, Mickey Jones donated a script from the final episode of Home Improvement autographed by the entire cast, which fetched $1,000 during the auction to raise money for the Freedom Fund! He also donated several copies of various movies and short films he has appeared in, including the infamous Breath Savers commercial, which garnered several hundred dollars more to be used for lobbying and advancing bikers' rights causes. Mickey instantly became the star of the Convention, graciously signing autographs until 2 a.m., and was the last person to leave the banquet room."
On TV, Jones had a recurring role as Pete Bilker on Home Improvement, appeared on the ‘80s sitcom Flo, and popped up on M*A*S*H, Baywatch, Justified, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. His most recent role was on Adult Swim’s Newsreaders in 2015. He also had memorable roles in the original Total Recall, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Sling Blade (where he appeared alongside his friend Billy Bob Thornton).
Jones was also an accomplished drummer, In the 1960s and '70s, he was a drummer with Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers, Trini Lopez, and the First Edition with Kenny Rogers.
In 1966, Jones played with Dylan during a pair of shows at London's Royal Albert Hall that became noteworthy when the crowd erupted in boos when Dylan switched to an electric guitar midway through the show.
Jones told The Times in 2008 that he was the original drummer of the Band — which backed up Dylan before gaining fame on their own — before Levon Helm joined the group. Most accounts, though, indicate that Jones had filled in on drums when Helm took a break from the group.