Dean Jones made us all laugh with his honest-guy face and his Disney-designed dilemmas, in comedies like The Love Bug and That Darn Cat! But he also drank heavily and cheated on his wife -- until he came to Jesus and experienced a spiritual rebirth.
His life as a believer lasted the last half of his 84 years. But when Jones died this week, what did many obits fixate on? With few examples, the answer was the same: the showbiz angle.
The Associated Press -- in an obit used by several news media -- trots out the list of snickery titles in which Dean Jones acted: not only the above two, but Million Dollar Duck, Monkeys Go Home and Under the Yum Yum Tree.
In pedestrian AP style, the obit says Jones appeared in five Broadway shows and 46 films, including 10 for Disney. It drops the names of those he worked with, including Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock and Jane Fonda in the play There Was a Little Girl.
What of his faith? Nada.
USA Today is little different. Its obit lists some of his pro-Christian work ...
A committed Christian, Jones later founded the Christian Rescue Committee (now Christian Rescue Fund), which helped rescue Jews, Christians and others persecuted for their faith. Jones’ other charitable activities included international child-care and world hunger.
... as if it were a natural outgrowth of his showbiz stuff.