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NFL Hall of Famer, actor Deacon Jones dies at 74

David "Deacon" Jones

David “Deacon” Jones

NFL Hall of Famer, actor Deacon Jones dies at 74


David “Deacon” Jones, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams who went on to appear as an actor and a TV pitchman for Miller Lite, has died. He was 74.

Jones’ death from natural causes at his home in Southern California was announced Monday night by Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, whose father, the late George Allen, coached Jones for five seasons with the Rams and for a season with the Redskins.

Jones, at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, played with the Rams from 1961-71 and teamed with Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier and Merlin Olsen to form the imposing defensive line known as the Fearsome Foursome back when the team played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. His specialty was sacking the quarterback in an era when sacks were not an official statistic (he unofficially recorded 22 of them in a season twice with the Rams and would rank among the all-time leaders in the category). In fact, he reportedly coined the term “sack” to define tackling the quarterback for a loss.

Jones played himself in a memorable 1972 episode of “The Odd Couple” when Felix Unger (Tony Randall) tried to pair him and Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) for a commercial. He also appeared in the TV series “Bewitched,” “Banacek,” “The Fall Guy” and “Good vs. Evil” and in the 1978 films “Heaven Can Wait” and “The Norseman.”

Jones also made his mark in Miller Lite TV spots. In one, he recites a poem about his love for the beer, sending patrons fleeing from a bar when he concludes with, “Blue is a violet, red is a rose, and if you don’t believe me, I’m going to break your nose.”


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