| Texan Ray Jones is another familiar B western "face in the crowd", and he generally did uncredited roles as a henchman, townsman, barfly, et al.
Les Adams has Jones identified in 180+ western movies and 6 serials.
As with many other B western supporting players, Jones migrated to early TV work and can be spotted in episodes of GUNSMOKE, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, WYATT EARP, more.
His film and television career spanned 30+ years, from about 1930 through the early 1960s.
In the information below, note that his first name may be Raden (not Rayden). Pure guess - he probably got nicknamed "Ray" as a child. And as time went by, Raden/Ray morphed into Rayden.
There was an unknown first marriage. He married Irene Cole (1910 - 1980) in 1933, and they had a son, Rayden Douglas Jones (1934 - 2006).
Suffering from cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Ray Jones passed away on October 27, 1975 at Broadway Community Hospital, Los Angeles.
As of December, 2016, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) incorrectly identifies actor Ray Jones as Raymond F. Jones, born August 12, 1900 in Batvia, Iowa: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0429070/
That IMDb reference to Raymond F. Jones is incorrect. The Family Search website has the 1940 census takers worksheet for 39 year old Raymond F. Jones (born Iowa) and 37 year old wife Lillian who own their home at 725 North Carson Avenue in Los Angeles. Jones' occupation is "Studio electrician - Motion Pictures", and in 1939, he worked 50 weeks and earned $4000.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-27797-4129-58?cc=2000219&wc=M9Q8-B7Q:n1312975888
The Three Stooges net website has Ray Jones in a few shorts with the zany trio: http://www.threestooges.net/cast/actor/4065/
On the trail of Ray Jones:
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), ProQuest obituaries, California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), newspapers and other sources have info on our B western actor Ray Jones.
Three common threads in the info below are:
1. Ray's mother, Deamer Escoe, and there are several variations of her name which I've highlighted in this color.
2. Ray's wife Irene Cole, and I've highlighted her in this color.
3. There was a brother named James / Jim, and I've highlighted him in this color.
|His parents were easy to locate in various records. But there's issues in finding Ray Jones, western movie actor. We'll begin with info that Ray reported about himself:
- World War I draft registration dated September 12, 1918 - 19 year old Raden Charles Jones was born November 11, 1898, and he signs the form as Raden (not Rayden). His mail address is General Delivery, Laramie, Wyoming and occupation is "Ranch hand" at the Will M. Rathye Ranch, Millbrook, Wyoming (the ranch name and location is difficult to read). His nearest relative is Jim Jones, Maynard, Arkansas: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-26305-4495-98?cc=1968530
- April 26, 1933 marriage license of 32 year old Ray Jones (born Texas) to 21 year old Irene Cole (born Maine) in Los Angeles. His occupation is "Actor - Theatrical"; he is divorced and this is his second marriage; parents were John R. Jones (born Georgia) and Deamer Escel [sic] (born Texas). Irene's occupation is "Beauty Operator":
The Ray Jones and Irene Cole 1933 marriage license have his parents as John R. Jones and Deamer Escel [sic] (born Texas).
Family trees on ancestry.com have them as John Rasmus Jones (1864-1923) and Deamer A. Escoe (1872-1950). In 1923, Deamer re-married, and her second and last husband was Joel Thomas Lee Dean (1871-1931).
However, there's no Ray / Rayden / Raden with them in the 1900 and 1910 census. But they do have a son Dewie / Dewey who was born about 1898. Could "Dewie / Dewey" be our Ray / Raden / Rayden Jones?
The census, births, deaths, and other info:
- 1890 census is unavailable - it was lost in a 1921 fire (and water damage) at the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
- 1900 census - living in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) are 39 year old John Jones (born Alabama; occupation "Medical Doctor"), his 28 year old wife Dema [sic] A. (born Texas), 10 year old daughter Clorence (born Texas), 9 year old son James (born Texas), 1 year old son Dewey (born Texas), and a boarder. The census taker enumerated the family on June 11-12, 1900 and Dewey has a November, 1899 birth date and is 6/12 old (meaning 6 months): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSR1-68W
- 1910 census - living in Self Creek Township, Pike County, Arkansas are 45 year old John R. Jones (born Georgia; occupation "Physician"), 37 year old wife Deamie [sic] (born Texas), 18 year old son James (born Texas), 12 year old son Dewie (born Texas), 6 year old daughter Olga (born Oklahoma) and newborn son Haskell (born Arkansas). Census takers worksheet has "Daisy town" as part of the location: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKVL-975
- 1920 census - owning their home in Wheeler, Van Buren County, Arkansas are 56 year old John R. Jones (born Georgia; occupation "Physician"), his 48 year old wife Demer A. (born Texas), 16 year old daughter Olda (born Oklahoma), 11 year old son Haskell (born Arkansas), and 9 year old daughter Beatress (born Arkansas): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDFL-4S5
- Ray and Irene's son, Rayden Douglas Jones:
California birth index record for Rayden Douglas Jones, born June 5, 1934, and his mother's maiden name was Cole: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2Q7-22N
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Rayden Douglas Jones. He was born June 5, 1934, passed away May 14, 2006, and last residence was Vista, San Diego County, California: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J5JZ-M4H
- 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 40 year old Rayden Jones (born Texas), 28 year old wife Irene (born Maine) and 5 year old son Douglas (born California) are among many renters at 1401 North Ridgewood Place in Los Angeles, and they lived in Los Angeles in 1935. Jones was born in Texas; completed school through the 8th grade; occupation is "Actor - Motion Pic", and in 1939, he worked 26 weeks and earned $1400.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CX-HZC
- The California Death Index and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have records for:
Rayden Jones, born November 11, 1898 in Texas, and passed away on October 27, 1975 in the Los Angeles area:
- ProQuest obituaries had a (brief) funeral notice from the November 7, 1975 Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper. Excerpt: "JONES, Rayden ... gravesite services ... at Rosedale Cemetery." There was no mention of a wife or other family members.
- Caliifornia Death Index has a record for Ray's mother - Deamer Dean was born February 9, 1872 in Texas, mother's maiden name was Briggs, father's last name was Escoe, and she passed away March 26, 1950 in the Los Angeles area: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPC1-8Z9
- California Death Index has a record for Ray's wife, Irene M. Jones. She was born August 31, 1910 in Maine; mother's maiden name of Landry; father's last name of Cole; and she passed away on May 4, 1980 in the Los Angeles area: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGGV-4YC
|(Old Corral collection)
Sitting at the saloon table with their beers are Ray Jones (left) and unidentified player (right). In the background left to right are Jack Evans, Benny Corbett and Chester Gan. Crop from a production still from the Reb Russell oater FIGHTING THROUGH (Willis Kent, 1934).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Marjorie Manners, Archie Ricks, Ray Jones, Buster Crabbe, unidentified man and woman, Frank Hagney, unidentified woman, I. Stanford Jolley (with the six-shooter), and on the far right is an unidentifed player. Production still from Crabbe's BLAZING FRONTIER (PRC, 1943). Don't be fooled by the badge on Hagney as he and Stan Jolley are the gang leaders in this Billy the Kid yarn.
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above from left to right are Jack Hendricks (AKA Ray Henderson), Buster Crabbe, Frank Ellis, Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, Ray Jones and Lorraine Miller in a still from BORDER BADMEN (PRC, 1945).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Leonard Penn and Jim Bannon, and inside the stage are Ray Jones and Black Jack O'Shea. From WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE (Monogram, 1951), which starred Whip Wilson.