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Jon Provost

Personal information
Birth nameJonathan Provost
Birth dateMarch 12, 1950(age 66)
Place of birthLos Angeles, California, USA
OccupationActor; Educator; Businessman
SpouseSandy Goosens (1979-1993) (divorced) 2 children
Laurie Jacobson (1999-present)

     Home | American actors | Jon Provost

Jon Provost (born Jonathan Provost on March 12, 1950, in Los Angeles, California) is a former child actor of film and television. He is best known for his role as young Timmy Martin in the CBS series, Lassie.

At the age of four, Provost was cast in the film The Country Girl (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. He then appeared in Back from Eternity (1956) with Anita Ekberg and Escapade in Japan (1957), again with Ekberg and an unknown (and uncredited) Clint Eastwood.In 1957, Provost acquired the role of Timmy Martin in the CBS television series Lassie. He joined the show at the top of the fourth season as co-star to Tommy Rettig, Jan Clayton, and George Cleveland. Midpoint in the season, George Cleveland died and the show was completely revamped with Provost becoming the human star after the departures of Rettig and Clayton. Hugh Reilly and June Lockhart joined the show in 1958 as Timmy's parents (roles had been played by Jon Shepodd and Cloris Leachman). On December 25, 1958, Provost and Lassie were holiday guests on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. This was the only time of the five years that the Ford program ran that an episode actually aired on Christmas Day. Ford sang the carol "Some Children See Him" for the first time on this episode.

For seven seasons, 1957 1964, audiences grew to love Timmy and his adventures with Lassie. In 1964, however, Provost was fourteen and chose not to renew his contract though Campbell's Soup Company, the sponsor, wanted three more years. With Provost out of the picture, the format of the series was revamped. The Martins were sent to Australia to teach agriculture while Lassie was forced to remain in the United States because of quarantine regulations. Robert Bray was then cast as forest ranger Corey Stuart, Lassie's new owner from 1964-1968.

Provost's career as a television child star ended, and he left show business when he was eighteen. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and worked for a time in the field of special education.

Later, he sold real estate in Sonoma County north of San Francisco and donated his time to various causes. In 1991, Provost returned to television with a recurring role in The New Lassie series as real estate agent, Steve McCullough. In one nostalgic episode, he appeared together with Tommy Rettig. In another episode, June Lockhart reprised her role as Timmy's mother, Ruth Martin. In an incredible twist, the audience learned Timmy was never properly adopted by the Martins and forced to remain in the States while they continued on to Australia. Timmy was then adopted by the McCullough family and began using the name, Steve McCullough.

Today, Provost continues to attend celebrity conventions and autograph parties. He sometimes appears on network news programs to speak about classical television and American culture. In 1994, Provost received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Blvd.

His memoirs, Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story, were released in November 2007 (Cumberland House Publishing, ISBN 1-58182-619-2). In August 2008, Provost was honored with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival.

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