Davey Marlin-Jones, Director, Professor and Arts Critic on Local TV, Dead at 71

By Kenneth Jones
13 Mar 2004

Davey Marlin-Jones, a director-professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who was the first artistic director of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, died March 2 in Las Vegas, according to published reports.



Mr. Marlin-Jones was known in many regional markets, including Detroit and Washington, DC, for his movie, theatre and cultural reviews on TV stations owned by Post Newsweek. His colorful commentary and rubbery face, that of a character actor, was famous (and parodied, locally) in cities for 18 years.

Mr. Marlin-Jones was 71 and left behind a varied career in theatre.

He was a recipient of the Margo Jones Award for advancing the American playwright, and served as artistic director for the Washington (DC) Theatre Club and first artistic director for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. He was managing director for the Equity Library Theatre in New York and consulting director for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Mr. Marlin-Jones directed the Emmy-Award-winning series, "The Greatest Show," and directed the film of Lanford Wilson's "In the Well of the House." At the Kennedy Center, he presided over the New Playwrights program.  He has been guest lecturer, critic, and director at over 100 universities, as well as 40 major American theatres such as Long Wharf Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Stage West and New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.

At UNLV he taught playwriting and directing.

According to The Detroit Free Press, Mr. Marlin-Jones was born in Winchester, IN. A childhood gift of a magician's set reportedly started him on a road in entertainment. He graduated Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.

Starting a career as an on-camera commentator, he was arts critic for Channel 9 in DC. His movie reviews were seen in Post Newsweek markets, and he would also travel to cities and report live reviews after opening nights. At least once when panning a show live on TV from the lobby of the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, theatregoers expressed their disagreement over his shoulder.

He is survived by his wife, Maggie Winn-Jones; two sons, Andrew Jones and Oliver Jones; two grandchildren, and a sister.