Often when I’m watching a movie or tv show, I look up the cast of actors on IMDB to see what other things I’ve seen them in and I like to know about their lives outside of acting.
Recently when watching an old Disney movie starring Dean Jones, I decided to look him up to read about him. If you grew up on Disney, you know he was one of Disney’s two biggest stars throughout the ’60s and ’70s. He played in some of my all-time favorite movies like That Darn Cat!, The Million Dollar Duck, The Snowball Express, The Ugly Dachshund, and so many more.
As I read about his life, I wasn’t surprised to learn that he had led a typical life for one in Hollywood, with affairs and divorce, etc. but what got me was his meeting with Walt Disney.
“I remember having lunch with Walt one day, and he told me, ‘Dean, you’re a perfect fit for these pictures. You’re such a good family man!'” Jones said, “I wasn’t a good family man, I was showing up at home smelling of perfume that wasn’t my wife’s.”
It wasn’t true at the time but in ’73 he married his second wife and they had a family and stayed married until he died in 2015, leaving behind his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
When Walt met him he told him he was a family man when he was anything but that. Walt must have really seen that in him, as he cast him in part after part depicting him as “a family man”, in movies that were made for families.
And in the end, Dean really was a family man.
May we not only see the best in the people we meet and know but also remind them of it.