LOS ANGELES >> Mickey Jones, a veteran character actor who played Rodney “Hot Rod” Dunham on “Justified” and construction worker Pete on the 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement,” has died. He was 76.
Jones died early today of the effects of a long illness, said his publicist, Cherry Hepburn. The illness and where he died were not immediately disclosed.
A native of Houston, Texas, Jones worked steadily in TV from the 1970s, with appearances on shows including “Baywatch” and “T.J. Hooker” and, more recently, “Growing Up Fisher” with J.K. Simmons and “Newsreaders” with Kumail Nanjiani.
On the big screen, Jones was seen in “Sling Blade,” ”Tin Cup” and “Starman.”
His “Home Improvement” role harkened back to his roots in entertainment: Pete was part of a company band, using an ad hoc drum set made up of empty plastic fuel cans and with screwdrivers as sticks.
Jones, however, was a real-deal musician. In the 1960s and ’70s, he was a drummer with Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers and The First Edition with Kenny Rogers.
Jones’ 2007 autobiography, “That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor To Hollywood Actor,” drew the first part of its title from the catchphrase his character was known for on Tim Allen’s “Home Improvement.”