British character player, most typically in eccentric comedy roles, which he has often played in a deliberately over-the-top manner. Jones worked for years as a laboratory assistant while he dabbled in amateur dramatics on the side. A scholarship to the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama enabled him to return to school and effect a career change. After working in repertory theater and TV, Jones was finally able to blaze his bug-eyed, roguishly endearing stuff at the Royal Shakespeare Company. After performing in "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade" in London and New York, he recreated his role for director Peter Brook's screen version in 1966. Critical reaction was mixed, but it started Jones's film career, which would soon spread to both sides of the Atlantic.