JIMMY DEAN BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Jimmy Dean was born on August 10th, 1928 in Plainview, Texas with the birth name Jimmy Ray Dean to parents, George Otto and Ruth Dean. Dean first became interested in music when his parents would expose him to church and soon he decided to drop out of high School and pursue a career as an entertainer.
He first joined the United States Air Force and after his discharge, he went on to his initial goals of pursuing a career as a performer. He began working as a professional singer, touring with a band called "The Texas Wildcats" and in 1953 they had their first single hit, 'Bummin Around".
While performing with this band he also gained experience hosting the Washington DC radio program called "Town and Country Time" and he worked with this radio show up until 1957 and then CBS picked up the show nationally for an eight month run under a new name, "The Morning Show" followed by "The Jimmy Dean Show" which aired on the weekdays and Saturday afternoons.
He continued to perform and gain fans but he did not have another hit for quite a while. Soon, he made a career choice and signed with Columbia Records in 1957. His record, "Big Bad John" became number one and sold over a million copies and was even awarded a gold disk. He won the 1962 Grammy Award for, Best Country & Western Recording and followed with a number of top 40 songs.
In the mid 60's after he had relocated to New York, ABC offered him a variety show which was the first of its kind to present country music on his terms as mainstream entertainment. He also began his acting career working on the film, "Diamonds are Forever" (1971) and also appearing in a number of commercials advertising, "Jimmy Dean Pure Pork Sausage" which became number one in its product category.
Dean also appeared on several TV talk shows and game shows in the 1960's and performed on variety programs including, "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom" and "The Hollywood Palace".
Along with a successful film, television and music career he also published his autobiography in 2004, "30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham". He married twice throughout his lifetime, first to Mary Sue Wittauer in 1950 and they had three children together before ending their marriage in 1990. He then married his second wife, Donna Meade in 1991 and they remained together until he passed away on June 13th, 2010 in Henrico, Virginia at the age of eighty one from natural causes.
He received a number of honors throughout his career. In 1997 he was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame and was also appointed to the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries which would oversee the state's wildlife efforts and boating laws. In 2010, he was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
1990 Murder, She Wrote
1990 Big Bad John
1987-1988 J.J. Starbuck
1981-1982 Fantasy Island
1977 The City
1972 Rolling Man
1971 Diamonds Are Forever
1967-1970 Daniel Boone
1969 The Ballad of Andy Crocker