08-12 Happy birthday to Sam J. Jones, Born: August 12, 1954.
Samuel Gerald “Sam J.” Jones is an American actor. He is best known for playing the title character in the 1980 film Flash Gordon.
In 1975, prior to his first screen roles, Jones appeared in full frontal nude under the alias Andrew Cooper III as the centerfold for a photo-spread in the June issue of Playgirl magazine.
He made his first film appearance in the 1979 romantic comedy film 10. His appearance in 10 allowed him to beat Kurt Russell and Arnold Schwarzenegger for his most famous role, that of Flash Gordon in the 1980 film of the same name. Jones dyed his hair blonde for this role. The film was moderately successful at the box office grossing $27.1M in North America, and $22m in the UK – double its $20M budget. However, a falling out between Jones and the producers helped to scrap the planned trilogy.
After the release of Flash Gordon, Playgirl magazine reprinted his 1975 photo-spread in their January 1981 issue, this time using his real name. He went on to play Chris Rorchek in the TV series Code Red (1981–1982). He had guest roles in other TV shows including The A-Team, Hunter, and Riptide. In 1987, he played the lead role in a TV adaptation of Will Eisner’s comics character The Spirit. He also played the title character in the short-lived NBC sci-fi series The Highwayman. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he portrayed Johnny Valentine on the HBO series 1st & Ten.
Jones starred in the 1986 theatrical release My Chauffeur and the straight-to-video movies Jungle Heat (1985), Jane and the Lost City (1987), Under the Gun (1988), Silent Assassins (1988), Whiteforce (1988), Driving Force (1989), and One Man Force (1989). In the 1990s, Jones had roles in films including In Gold We Trust (1990), Maximum Force (1992), Fist of Honor (1993), Hard Vice (1994), Enter the Shootfighter (1995), Texas Payback (1995), The Killer Inside (1996), Earth Minus Zero (1996), Baja Run (1996) and American Tigers (1996), and guest roles in the TV shows Baywatch, Diagnosis Murder and Walker: Texas Ranger.
In 2001, Jones was cast in Animal Planet’s family series Hollywood Safari as a park ranger. He appeared in “Deadman Switch”, an episode of the television series Stargate SG-1. In 2007, he played the prisoner Krebb in the Sci Fi Channel original television series Flash Gordon. He also had extended cameos (as himself, with his blond Flash Gordon hairstyle) in both the 2012 comedy film Ted and its 2015 sequel, Ted 2.