Cowboy Actor Don Jeanes to appear in Star-Courier booth

By David Taylor

A young cowboy, raised in the southernmost part of the Piney Woods in Moscow, Texas, used to spend his time on a quarterhorse as a kid growing up helping his grandfather around the ranch.

Now Don Jeanes roams between Hollywood, Austin, Houston, New York, and Atlanta auditioning for movie parts and commercials, including the award winning Budweiser Super Bowl trilogy of commercials featured in 2013-2015.

Jeanes will be in the Crosby Bicentennial Parade on Saturday, Sept. 23, and will sign autographs and take selfies with the public at the Star-Courier Newspaper booth shortly afterwards.

Growing up in Moscow, Texas on his grandfather’s farm, Jeanes split his time between the 1,200-acre Moscow ranch and the 1,000-acre ranch in Dayton for most of his young life.

“I lived on the ranch in Moscow until I was seven years old,” he said, “and growing up, I spent a lot of time in Dayton, Crosby, and Humble.”

When his parents divorced, he moved to Humble with his mom but still took advantage of the country life on weekends at the Moscow ranch or back closer to home on the Dayton ranch.

“My grandfather ran the ranches until he was about 92 in 2016. He never drank or smoked and did hard manual labor all his life. He was a classic cowboy,” Jeanes said fondly of his grandfather’s work ethic.

Both ranches had herds of 250-plus cattle and four quarter horses on each.

“He started in the Brahman cattle ranching business in 1940 and ran it for about 74 years,” his grandson said, specializing in gentle, beefy-type Brahman cattle.

“When you passed Mr. Jeanes ranch coming home, you knew you were in Liberty County,” said Liberty County Judge Jay Knight.

The judge knew the Jeanes family, Don’s uncles, growing up in Dayton and attending high school there.

“They were all super kids. They were always the Most Likely To Succeed, Most Handsome, and great athletes on the football field. They also rodeoed and were naturals,” he said. “They all had movie-star looks.”

The American Braham Breeders Association dedicated the 2006 International Brahman Show at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo to Guy L. Jeanes, Jr. in recognition of his longtime contribution to the registered Brahman cattle breed and the Texas cattle industry.

The Jeanes family ancestors have been in southeast Texas since the 1800s. His grandmother, Hazel Ann Furr Jeanes was part of the family for which Furr High School was named. Jeanes was bitten by the acting bug when he went looking for an elective at Humble High School.

“I asked my football buddies, and they told me to sign up for theater. I could sleep in class,” he laughed.

He excelled under Scott Allen at Humble.

“He wouldn’t let me sleep and made me act and encouraged me to participate in UIL,” Jeanes said.

Later he received a theater scholarship to Kingwood College his first year.

“I was building the sets as a side job and then acting in the plays,” he said.

He left Kingwood and went to Texas State University to earn a marketing degree at his mom’s urging. After a year of business in Houston, he left for New York to work on Broadway after a buddy invited him to come.

He earned a lot of roles on off-Broadway, but soon got a different direction.

“I was told by two of the casting directors, ‘Look, kid, you have blonde hair and blue eyes, but you can’t sing or dance, go to Los Angeles,’” he laughed.

He followed their advice and found success almost as quickly as he got there booking print jobs, then commercials which led to his Budweiser commercial audition.

“I got a call and they said, ‘Hey, we got this beer commercial, and the buyout is amazing,’” he learned.

He drove down to Santa Monica to do the audition. The premise was a wild horse running around in the street and the actor had to stop the horse.

He got a callback to go to Thousand Oaks, California for another round of auditions.

“An English-sounding guy told me to take the horse and walk it up and down the aisle,” he said. Having ridden a quarter horse since he was a kid, it seemed like a simple task. At the end of the walk, Jeanes also gave the horse a hug.

“Turns out I ended up being the one who booked the commercial because I was the only one who stood on the left side of the horse,” a tradition he learned from his early years.

Jeanes knew something was up when there was more advertising agency clientele on the set than normal. He knew it was for Budweiser but had no idea it would be used as the Super Bowl commercial.

Jeanes was featured in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Budweiser trilogy of commercials that won international acclaim. He was no longer the blonde haired, blue-eyed guy; he was the actor in the Super Bowl commercials.

He has since been in 47 national commercials with more than 150,000 national airings including Safelite, H-E-B, Damprid, and Leaf Filter currently airing. His silver and big screen opportunities also increased with 18 movies including two on Lifetime, and as Neil Armstrong on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. On the silver screen, he’s made appearances on CSI:NY, Days Of Our Lives, Criminal Minds, The Exes, among others.

Jeanes now lives in The Woodlands and has a wife and new baby girl.