Dorothy-Marie Jones - Actress, Athlete - Modesto Junior College
Modesto Junior College alumna Dorothy-Marie Jones, who has gone by Dot for decades, was born in Turlock, Calif. but raised in Hilmar, Calif. While at Modesto Junior College, Jones set the national shot put record at 51-feet-1 1/2 feet. The record stood for seven years until 1990.
"I turned down scholarships to several colleges but didn't want to go too far from home," Jones said in October 2013 to a group of women at a Modesto-area fundraiser. "So I went to Modesto Junior College because, one, it was close and, two, I had to get my grades up. I'm not going to lie. It's too late now. I'm almost 50!"
At Modesto Junior College, Jones took criminology courses and her athletic prowess led to a track and field scholarship to California State University, Fresno where she majored in criminology. After college, Jones worked as a youth counselor at the Fresno County Juvenile Probation Center.
At age 19, Jones won her first world arm wrestling championship and won the title 15 times before retiring. She qualified for the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in the shot put, but did not qualify for the Olympic team either year.
Jones was discovered at a bodybuilding competition by Shirley Eson of "American Gladiators" fame. Eson urged Jones to audition for the Gladiators-like "Knights and Warriors," and Jones got the part, becoming one of the few female warriors. Her character was called "Lady Battleaxe."
"Knights and Warriors" only lasted one season, but Jones' acting career was heating up. She played small roles in several television series throughout the 1990s and 2000s and broke into feature films with "The Boondock Saints." Her first recurring role after "Knights and Warriors" was as a character named "Dot" on the popular show "Married... with Children" in the mid-1990s. She appeared in five episodes over two seasons. Jones' next break was on the kids show "Lizzie McGuire" as Coach Kelly. Since then, she has appeared in popular shows "Nip/Tuck," "Desperate Housewives," "Prison Break," and now "Glee."
Jones worked with "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy on "Nip/Tuck" and "Pretty/Handsome," and asked co-executive producer Brad Falchuk during an encounter at a Whole Foods market if she could be on the show. Soon after, the character of Coach Shannon Beiste was created for her and she recently started filming her sixth season on the popular show.
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