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hirley Jones has been a gracious and ageless

hirley Jones has been a gracious and ageless creature for so long that we were initially taken aback at her turn as Aunt Batty in Hallmark's Hidden Places, in which she embodies all those qualities usually ascribed to women who are bona fide old ladies: feistiness, spunk, and a tendency to dispense advice. But who can resist Jones? As the family backbone trying to save the family farm, she portrays a vital, vibrant woman with intimations of all manner of intriguing but unspoken events in her past. Even though her career is approaching its sixth decade, Jones isn't done by a long shot. In a recent interview with Back Stage, she said, "I would love to try everything. I'm open. I love acting." For the role of Aunt Batty, Jones drew from her small-town past and her family's experiences during the Depression. Even when she talks about playing a gray-haired lady in men's clothes, she's, well, gracious. "I'm not a kid anymore," she says, "so the age was wonderful for me to get into." Jones has one previous Emmy nomination.

—Wenzel Jones

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