Veteran film publicist Tom Jones died Dec. 25 at his home in Vendome, France, following a long illness. He was 69 years old.Jones worked for 24 years at the Walt Disney Studios, serving as unit publicist on several of the studio’s biggest hits, including “Mary Poppins,” and handling company founder Walt Disney’s personal publicity. He eventually became pub director for the studios and shaped campaigns for many studio releases. A native of Saluda, Va., Jones graduated from William and Mary College. He moved to Los Angeles in 1941 where he worked as a dancer and extra at MGM, and subsequently, as a publicist. After several years supervising publicity for the Coconut Grove nightclub, Jones joined Disney in 1952 as a staff unit publicist on feature films and on the studio’s early forays in television. He left briefly in the mid-’60s to serve as publicity director for Dick Van Dyke’s production company, Dramatic Features Inc. He returned to Disney in 1968 as director of publicity and remained in that post until moving to Europe in 1978. Settling in Calpe, Spain, he continued to freelance as a publicist on features and telefilms. In 1986 he moved to Vendome, just outside of Paris. Jones is survived by his wife, Bee, son Blake, who is a telecine colorist with Condor Video in Amsterdam, and son Christopher. A memorial service will be held Jan. 26 at the Smokehouse Restaurant in Burbank. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to the American Cancer Society.
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