Allan Jones was an American actor and singer. For many years he was married to actress Irene Hervey; their son is American pop singer Jack Jones.
Jones, of Welsh ancestry, starred in many film musicals during the 1930s and 1940s. The best-known of these were Show Boat, and The Firefly. However, he is now best remembered as the romantic to the Marx Brothers in their first two MGM productions, A Night at the Opera, and A Day at the Races.
On the strength of his appearance in A Night at the Opera, however, he won the coveted role of Gaylord Ravenal in the 1936 film version of Show Boat, right out from under the noses of such screen musical favorites as Nelson Eddy and John Boles, neither of whom were noted for their acting. This was to become Jones’s most distinguished screen role, in which, under the direction of James Whale, he was to display dramatic acting ability as well as musical talent.
He made a brief appearance in the 1936 Nelson Eddy – Jeanette MacDonald film Rose Marie, singing music from Charles Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, but according to Merchant of Dreams, Charles Higham’s biography of Louis B. Mayer, Eddy, who apparently considered Jones a rival and a potential threat, asked that most of Jones’s footage in Rose Marie be cut, including his rendition of the great Puccini aria E lucevan le stelle – and MGM agreed to Eddy’s demand.