This obituary originally ran on Oct. 21, 1988. The character of Dr. San Guinary was resurrected a few years ago by Chris Palmer.
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Omaha television personality John Jones, who played Dr. San Guinary on KMTV's "Creature Feature" program, died Thursday night (Oct. 20, 1988) of cancer at his Ralston home. Jones, 46, worked at KMTV from 1965 until the time of his death. He began at the station as a floor manager and went on to become a producer - director and, in recent years, an account executive.
He was most widely known, however, for his Saturday night appearances on "Creature Feature." The program ran from 1971 until the summer of 1982.
"Creature Feature" had a large following, particularly in the early and mid - 70s, when the program aired at 10:30 p.m. At the height of its popularity, the show earned a 52 percent share of the local audience.
Dr. San Guinary hands a photo of himself to a child with muscular dystrophy. Photo courtesy of Chris Palmer
As Dr. San Guinary, Jones donned green makeup, a red wig and a white smock smeared with "blood." The character provided a light touch as he introduced the weekly horror films, some of which he freely admitted were "real dogs."
Although the program showcased horror films, Jones gave the program a large dose of humor. In an interview published earlier this year in The World - Herald, Jones said that in the show's beginning, "We started out being scary. But enough people told me the little ones didn't want to watch it that I said, 'OK, I'll be a clown.' "
As Dr. San Guinary, Jones also was a fixture on the local segments of the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. He appeared on 17 Muscular Dystrophy telethons.
Dr. San Guinary, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jordan at the fishbowl. Photo courtesy of Chris Palmer
After "Creature Feature" went off the air, Jones continued to play the character in personal appearances and in the local segments of the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Jones was born in Lyons, Kan., where he showed an interest in drama while in high school. He studied broadcast journalism and speech at Creighton University, receiving his degree in 1965. Shortly after graduation, he took a job at KMTV.
"He'll be missed around here," said KMTV General Manager Howard Kennedy. "He was a lot of fun, had a very good sense of humor. He was a darn good employee, the kind you like to have around."
Jones also was a member of the Ralston Volunteer Fire Department for more than 15 years.
1972 photo shows John Jones (Dr. San Guinary) making an appearance as a volunteer fireman for the Ralston Fire Department.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila; sons, Jason and Joshua; and sisters, Mary Ellen Jones and Muriel Adams of Overland Park, Kan.