Claim to Fame
Cooter Davenport on The Dukes of Hazzard
Profile Bio Text
Ben Lewis Jones (born August 30, 1941) is an American actor, politician, playwright and essayist, probably best known for his role as Cooter Davenport in The Dukes of Hazzard. Ben Jones has had a long and varied career in show business and political life. Born in North Carolina, he grew up in a "railroad shack" in a freight yard on the docks of Portsmouth, Virginia. Working his way through college with a series of odd jobs, he discovered theatre at the University of North Carolina, and almost immediately forged a professional career. After appearing as an actor in over two hundred films, television shows, and theatrical productions, he was cast as "Cooter," the amiable sidekick mechanic in the mega-hit television classic, "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Along the way he has worked with the likes of James Earl Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Eva Marie Saint, and John Travolta. He has appeared onstage at the Kennedy Center and the prestigious Berkshire Theatre Festival, and appeared in such films as "Primary Colors" and "Meet Joe Black". But "The Dukes of Hazzard" remains his favorite project. "It continues to find a new audience of youngsters," he says, "not only in America but throughout the world. There is something really magic about the show." After the "Dukes," Jones was elected to the United States Congress from the Fourth District of Georgia and served two terms before redistricting took his seat. Although he then returned to his entertainment career, Jones keeps up with his political interests by appearing as a regular "pundit" on shows such as "Crossfire" and "Hardball." He is also a writer, contributing opinion pieces and columns to newspapers and magazines including The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Weekly Standard.
Also a singer, Jones and his "Cooter`s Garage Band" have appeared throughout the United States at concerts, fairs, and festivals. His life story has been profiled in The New York Times, People magazine, and Life magazine. Jones and his wife, Alma Viator, are the proprietors of "Cooter`s Place," the "Dukes of Hazzard" museum and shop in Gatlinburg, Nashville, Tennessee, and Branson Missouri. They also founded "Dukesfest," a huge annual gathering of "Dukes" fans in Nashville. They reside in a frontier log home built before the American Revolution in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In June 2008, Ben’s memoir "Redneck Boy in the Promised Land" was published by Harmony Books of Random House. Jones is a 1959 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Ben has one daughter, Rachel, and one son, Walker. He is a long time friend of Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman.
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Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia
Full Name at Birth
Ben Lewis Jones
Ben Lewis Jones (born August 30, 1941) is an American actor, politician, playwright and essayist, best known for his role as Cooter Davenport in The Dukes of Hazzard. Jones also served for four years in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1989 to January 3, 1993.
Actor/Actress, Writer, Producer
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Tarboro, North Carolina U.S.
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