Ron Vawter


Miami Vice Character
Homicide Lieutenant Jones ("Smuggler's Blues")
December 9, 1948, Latham, New York
April 16, 1994, onboard plane between Zurich, Switzerland and New York (age 45, heart attack)
Greg Merhten (1981-1994, Vawter's death)

Ron Vawter (December 9, 1948 - April 16, 1994) was an American actor. He made his TV debut in the show Miami Vice as Homicide Lieutenant Jones, who was involved in a plot to extort money from drug smugglers (and was killed by Tubbs) in the episode "Smuggler's Blues". This was Vawter's only episodic television appearance.

Early Life/CareerEdit

Vawter was born in Latham, New York. In his early days, Vawter was a founding member of the experimental theater group The Wooster Group and continued to perform in the theater until his death. In film, he made his first credited role in 1981's Strong Medicine, followed by Born in Flames, Sex, Lies & Videotape (with Laura San Giacomo), The Silence of the Lambs (with Anthony Heald), and King of the Hill (with Jeroen Krabbe and Lisa Eichhorn). In 1989 Vawter found he was HIV-positive and was nearly refused a role in Philadelphia, but director Jonathan Demme convinced Tri-Star pictures to include him. One of his last theater roles was in the dual role of Roy Cohn (1927-1986) and Jack Smith (1932-1989), two gay men who succumbed to AIDS and their contrasting characters, which was made into a film in 1995.

Personal Life/DeathEdit

Vawter was gay, his partner until his death was Greg Merhten, who was the director of the stage version of Roy Cohn/Jack Smith. Vawter died on April 16, 1994 of a heart attack on board a transatlantic flight between Zurich, Switzerland and New York, New York at the age of 45.

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