Mickey Jones is known for his numerous great movie and television roles as well as his charity work and musical background, but among us Northern Exposure fans he will always be known as the deceased best friend and mentor to Minnifield Communication Network's KBHR radio D.J. Chris 'in the morning' Stevens as well as 'Tiny' from The Diablos Motorcycle Club.
Mickey Jones as 'Tooley' in Heroes: Season 4 Episode 4
Mickey Jones as 'Tiny' in Fish Story: Season 5 Episode 18
On the morning of February 7th, 2018 Northern Exposure fans and Mickey Jones fans alike awoke to the tragic news that Mickey had passed from what is still described as an 'Unknown Illness' that had him in and out of Hospice care the previous months. He was 76 years old.
Though I started recognizing Mickey in Movies after his role as the ripoff mechanic in National Lampoon's Vacation, he became a more consistent face in his role as Pete the drummer in the 90's show Home Improvement, but it wasn't until his role as Tooley in Northern Exposure and Monty Johnson in Billy Bob Thorton's Slingblade that I became a true fan of Mickey's.
Being a hardcore Northern Exposure fan, it was always a bucket list item to get to meet Mickey, shake his hand, thank him for the memories, get a photo and autograph like a typical Fan and when I mentioned this in a Facebook post, I was then informed by a good friend that was in his inner circle that his health wasn't doing too well so I had to come to terms with the sad fact that I'd probably never fulfill this goal.
As someone that collects autographs (a.k.a. Philography) as a means to stay connected to my nostalgic youth, I took to the Internet via Ebay and Amazon upon hearing of Mickey's recent further decline even though I've never bought an autograph online before since I prefer to meet the people that give merit to the signature, but I came to the conclusion that I had no other option and something is better than nothing. Little did I know just what a unique find I'd have before me.
Mickey Jones as Monty Johnson in Slingblade (1996) seated in the back.
After only about 5 minutes of searching I came across Mickey's Vinyl Album 'She Loves My Troubles Away' which couldn't have been more perfect since I collect Vinyl too and is often what I seek to get autographed when meeting actors/musicians from movies that have their soundtracks released on Vinyl and as fate would have it, this particular album was autographed by Mickey himself.
The album is personalized and reads
" Jennifer---- Congratulations!
I've loved being with you on 'Misfits' ---- Mickey"
which then prompted me to do some investigative work to get to the bottom of who this personalization was to and what it meant.
A quick search for anything with the name 'Misfits' under Mickey's imdb page led me to a 1985 short lived TV series titled 'Misfits of Science'. You can read more about that show HERE. So the next step was to scroll the cast listing for a Jennifer and sure enough, there she was, Jennifer Holmes who played Jane Miller in the show, it also turns out she acted in other shows I grew up watching such as Webster, The Fall Guy, Who's the Boss, and many more.
Jennifer Holmes alongside Courtney Cox in the 1985 T.V. Series 'Misfits of Science'
So regardless of never having the opportunity to meet the late great Mickey Jones, I can be content knowing that not only do I have a tangible piece of his history, but it's a piece that combines both his acting and musical legacy, and not only that, but a piece that he was proud of enough to suffice as a gift to a friend/fellow cast member.
Now the Record resides along with the original Vinyl collection of Chris Stevens within the original Walls of the Real KBHR studio and I can only hope Mickey would approve and be proud of how his gesture over 3 decades ago ended up. May he Rest in Peace and live forever though his Family, Friends, and Fans, Thank you for the memories Mr. Jones.
Mickey Jones as a frozen Arnold Biefneiter in 'Misfits of Science'
Hit play to listen to the Vinyl played inside Northern Exposure's KBHR.