Doug Jones Biography

(Actor and Contortionist Who is Best Known for Portraying Non-Human Creatures, Usually Via Heavy Make-Up and Visual Effects)

Birthday: May 24, 1960 (Gemini)

Born In: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

American actor, mime artist, and contortionist Doug Jones is best known for portraying aliens and other non-human creatures, under prosthetic make-up and visual effects, in horror and sci-fi films and series. He is also known for his long-time collaboration with legendary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and has appeared in many of his iconic films, such as Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and The Shape of Water. Jones has also portrayed the Saturn Award-winning role of Captain Saru in the sci-fi series Star Trek: Discovery and other prominent roles in movies such as Hocus Pocus, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and The Bye Bye Man. His work also consists of countless advertisements and several music video appearances. In 2009, he won the Fangoria Horror Hall of Fame honor at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. He and his wife now contribute to the Doug Jones Scholarship Fund to honor talented theater students in financial need.

Quick Facts

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Laurie Jones (m. 1984)

father: Robert Jones

mother: Josephine Jones

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 6'4" (193 cm), 6'4" Males

Notable Alumni: Ball State University

U.S. State: Indiana

More Facts

education: Ball State University

Early Life & Education

Doug Jones was born on May 24, 1960, in Indianapolis, Indiana, US., to Gordon and Gloria Jones. He was raised in the city’s North Eastside neighborhood.

Known as Dougie by his loved ones, he was the youngest of 4 brothers and initially attended Bishop Chatard High School. He later joined the Ball State University, from where he graduated in with a bachelor's degree in radio and TV broadcasting, with a minor in theater, in 1982.

He also learned mime at Ball State and joined a troupe on campus named Mime Over Matter. Jones also played Charlie the Cardinal, the Ball State mascot, at many sporting events, such as the men’s basketball games.

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Doug Jones started his acting career in the mid-1980s. He initially took up theater in Indiana and then worked as a contortionist too. One of his first jobs after moving to Los Angeles was that of a dancing mummy.

In the late 1980s, he worked for the campaigns of McDonald’s, playing Mac Tonight. He first gained recognition with the movie Night Angel (1990), in which he appeared with Sam Hennings.

He was initially also seen in series such as Tales from the Crypt (as a contortionist, 1993) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (as a slapstick actor, 1994) and in movies such as Batman Returns (as Thin Clown, 1992), the Halloween-themed Hocus Pocus (as William "Billy" Butcherson, 1993), and the dystopian sci-fi movie Tank Girl (as an Additional Ripper, 1995).

He later gained fame with episodic roles in series such as the supernatural drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999), Unsolved Mysteries (2001), and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2002). In 1998, he was seen as the monstrous Mother Bug in the comedy horror movie Bug Buster. He was soon typecast in the roles of creatures in sci-fi and fantasy projects and became known for playing roles under prosthetics.

He later gained popularity for his collaborations with Academy Award-winning Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, who cast him as the comic book character Abe Sapien in Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), along with Ron Perlman in the titular character. While the former catapulted him to global fame with its box-office success, the latter won him the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for the Best Supporting Actor.

He was nominated for the 2008 Scream Award for the Best Supporting Actor for the same role. He won the 2009 Fangoria Horror Hall of Fame honor, too. He had apparently modeled his moves for the character of Abe by watching his pet fish in his office.

He was next seen as the Faun and the Pale Man in del Toro's iconic Academy Award-winning movie Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and as Norrin Radd/the Silver Surfer in the Marvel Comics movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). The former had him learn archaic Spanish for his role.

He also portrayed the demonic imps Carmack Imp and Sewer Imp in the 2005 sci-fi film Doom, which was loosely based on the video game series of the same name and starred Dwayne Johnson. The film’s director, Andrzej Bartkowiak, apparently asked Jones to choreograph the movements of the Czech dancers who played zombies in the movie.

On TV, Jones has been seen as various alien creatures in The Outer Limits revival series (1995-2002), narrated by Kevin Conway. Jones’s portrayal of Captain Saru in the TV series Star Trek: Discovery (2017-present) won him the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2019 and 2021. He reprised the role in an episode of the series Star Trek: Short Treks in 2018.

He has also been seen in many roles without prosthetics, such as Augustus Margary in the comedy-drama film Adaptation (2002) and the homeless man in A Series of Small Things (2005). Jones has also appeared as the titular character in the 2017 horror thriller film The Bye Bye Man, as the Amphibian Man in del Toro’s multiple Academy Award-winning 2017 romantic fantasy The Shape of Water, as a creepy old man in the 2018 horror film Gehenna: Where Death Lives, and as James Whitley in the 2019 Netflix thriller Beneath the Leaves.

His notable TV roles include Cochise in the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series Falling Skies (2013-2015), The Ancient/The Master in the horror drama series The Strain (2014-2016), and Baron Afanas in the mockumentary comedy horror series What We Do in the Shadows (2019-2022). Jones has also been seen in web series such as Angel of Death (as Dr. Rankin, 2009), Research (as Denny, 2012-2013), and Adopted (as Lloyd Adams, 2013, 2018). He has voiced Wereduck/Demonic Clown in an episode of the 2020 animated series DuckTales.

Throughout his illustrious career, he has also appeared in more than 90 commercials and several music videos, such as the 1998 track I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me) by Marilyn Manson and the 1998 track All Star by Smash Mouth. Since graduating from Ball State, Jones has been in touch with the university. In 2009, he starred in the university’s first commercial film, My Name is Jerry.

Personal Life

On April 14, 1984, Doug Jones married Laurie Pontoni, whom he first met on Valentine’s Day in his junior year at Ball State. Pontoni was a visual communications graduate from Ball State.

They moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1985, to help Jones move ahead in his acting career. Pontoni later worked as a media buyer at an ad agency and then as a visual merchandiser. Jones and his wife have also launched the Doug Jones Scholarship Fund, which awards talented but financially challenged theater students.

Known for his towering frame, Jones also has double-jointed legs. The choker that he wears at his promo appearances is the same used by the character Abe Sapien in Hellboy.

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