Mickey Jones, 'Home Improvement' Actor, Dead at 76

Vivien Killilea  Getty Images
Mickey Jones at the 2012 16th Annual Hollywood Film Festival

Vivien Killilea Getty Images Mickey Jones at the 2012 16th Annual Hollywood Film Festival

Home Improvement and Total Recall actor Mickey Jones has passed away following a long illness.

Jones died early Wednesday morning of the effects of a long illness, said his publicist, Cherry Hepburn. Jones' death brings an end to an impressively eclectic career that saw him present for at least one classic rock milestone - and made him a frequent fixture on television and theater screens.

Mr. Jones was born on June 10, 1941, in Houston to Edward Jones, an officer in the Navy, and the former Frances Marie Vieregge. In the 1960s and '70s, he was a drummer with Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers and The First Edition with Kenny Rogers. He quickly amassed an impressive list of credits, earning a place in the pantheon of actors who become instantly recognizable to film and TV fans even without the luxury of leading roles or a lot of dialogue. He memorably played Pete Bilker of K&B Construction on 13 episodes of Home Improvement's run, and more recently starred as Rodney "Hot Rod" Durham, a player in the Harlan County crime scene, in the second and third seasons of Justified.

Jones, however, was a real-deal musician.

"I just had to get off the road", he added, "so I gave up a great career to try and get in a business that I loved, but starting at the bottom".

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