Photo: Michael Bezjian/WireImage
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Mickey Jones

Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
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Tim Allen, Mickey Jones and Gary McGurk in "Home Improvement.

Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
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Murray Rubinstein, Mickey Jones, Blake Clark, Jimmy Larbriola and Richard Karn in "Home Improvement."

Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank Via Getty Images
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Host Jay Leno and musician Mickey Jones during the "Romance Novel" sketch on April 19, 1996 on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Photo: CBS Photo Archive/CBS Via Getty Images
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Kenny Rogers and The First Edition appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Standing from left: Mike Settle, Thelma Camacho, Kenny Rogers and Terry Williams. Mickey Jones on drums. Image dated September

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Standing from left: Mike Settle, Thelma Camacho, Kenny Rogers and Terry Williams. Mickey Jones on drums. Image dated September 29, 1967.

Photo: Donaldson Collection/Getty Images
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Drummer Mickey Jones of the rock and roll band "The First Edition" perform at the Bitter End night club on November 8, 1967 in New York, New York.

Photo: Donaldson Collection/Getty Images
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Mickey Jones of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition performs on "This Is Tom Jones" TV show in circa 1970 in Los Angeles.

Photo: Antonella Ragazzoni / Eyeem/Getty Images/EyeEm
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Notable Deaths of 2018

Photo: Bobby Bank, WireImage
Image 9 of 17 | Vic Damone

Vic Damone, 1928-2018: Vic Damone, whose mellow baritone once earned praise from Frank Sinatra as "the best pipes in the business," died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Florida at the age of 89. Damone's

Vic Damone, 1928-2018: Vic Damone, whose mellow baritone once earned praise from Frank Sinatra as "the best pipes in the business," died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Florida at the age of 89. Damone's easy-listening romantic ballads brought him million-selling records and sustained a half-century career in recordings, movies and nightclub, concert and television appearances.     

Photo: Reed Saxon, AP
Image 10 of 17 | John Mahoney

John Mahoney, 1940-2018: John Mahoney, who as the cranky, blue-collar dad in "Frasier" played counterpoint to pompous sons Frasier and Niles, died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. Mahoney was 77.

Photo: Charles Sykes, AP
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Dennis Edwards, 1943-2018: Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the famed Motown group The Temptations, died Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. He was 74. Edwards, shown above singing with

Dennis Edwards, 1943-2018: Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the famed Motown group The Temptations, died Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. He was 74. Edwards, shown above singing with Aretha Franklin in 2011, replaced founding member David Ruffin in 1968, and his soulful, passionate voice defined the group for years. 

Photo: Craig Ruttle, AP
Image 12 of 17 | Mort Walker
Mort Walker, 1923-2018:

Mort Walker, the artist and author of the Beetle Bailey comic strip, died Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. He was 94.

Photo: Benjamin Brink, AP
Image 13 of 17 | Ursula Le Guin
Ursula Le Guin, 1929-2018:

Ursula Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, died Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Portland,

Ursula Le Guin, 1929-2018:

Ursula Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, died Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. She was 88.

Photo: Frans Schellekens/Redferns
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Mark E Smith

Mark E Smith from post-punk band, The Fall, the fall died at the age of 60 in January. Smith formed The Fall when punk hit 1970s Manchester, and the gray industrial English city sprouted innovative

Mark E Smith

Mark E Smith from post-punk band, The Fall, the fall died at the age of 60 in January. Smith formed The Fall when punk hit 1970s Manchester, and the gray industrial English city sprouted innovative bands including Joy Division and The Buzzcocks. Irascible and inimitable, Smith kept The Fall going for four decades and more than 30 albums. He was the band's only permanent member, hiring, firing and falling out with several dozen musicians along the way.

Photo: Jeff Christensen, AP
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Hugh Masekela - 1939 - 2018

South African jazz musician and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela passed away in Johannesburg after a lengthy battle against prostate cancer.

Photo: AP
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John Young, 1930-2018

This 1965 photo made available by NASA shows John Young during the Gemini 3 mission. NASA says the astronaut, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, died

John Young, 1930-2018

This 1965 photo made available by NASA shows John Young during the Gemini 3 mission. NASA says the astronaut, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, died on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. He was 87. (NASA via AP)

Photo: Prashant Gupta, AP
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This image released by FX shows Mickey Jones as Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham in a scene from "Justified." Jones, 76, a native of Houston, Texas, native, who worked steadily in TV and film since the 1970s, died early This image released by FX shows Mickey Jones as Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham in a scene from "Justified." Jones, 76, a native of Houston, Texas, native, who worked steadily in TV and film since the 1970s, died early Wednesday of the effects of a long illness. The illness was not disclosed. (Prashant Gupta/FX via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mickey Jones, a veteran character actor who played Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham on "Justified" and construction worker Pete on the 1990s sitcom "Home Improvement," has died. He was 76.

Jones died early Wednesday morning of the effects of a long illness, said his publicist, Cherry Hepburn. The illness and where he died were not immediately disclosed.

A native of Houston, Texas, Jones worked steadily in TV from the 1970s, with appearances on shows including "Baywatch" and "T.J. Hooker" and, more recently, "Growing Up Fisher" with J.K. Simmons and "Newsreaders" with Kumail Nanjiani

On the big screen, Jones was seen in "Sling Blade," ''Tin Cup" and "Starman."

His "Home Improvement" role harkened back to his roots in entertainment: Pete was part of a company band, using an ad hoc drum set made up of empty plastic fuel cans and with screwdrivers as sticks.

Jones, however, was a real-deal musician. In the 1960s and '70s, he was a drummer with Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers and The First Edition with Kenny Rogers.

Jones' 2007 autobiography, "That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor To Hollywood Actor," drew the first part of its title from the catchphrase his character was known for on Tim Allen's "Home Improvement."

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