English form of the Greek name Iasōn, borne in classical mythology by a hero, leader of the Argonauts, who sailed to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece, enduring many hardships and adventures. The sorceress Medea fell in love with him and helped him to obtain the Fleece; they escaped together and should have lived happily ever after. However, Jason fell in love with another woman and deserted Medea. Medea took her revenge by killing her rival, but Jason himself survived to be killed in old age by one of the rotting timbers of his ship, the Argo, falling on his head. The classical Greek name Iasōn probably derives from Greek iasthai ‘to heal’. In New Testament Greek, the name probably represents a classicized form of Joshua. It was borne by an early Christian in Thessalonica, at whose house St Paul stayed (Acts 17:5–9; Romans 16:21). Probably for this reason, it enjoyed some use among the Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries. The name has been used for various characters in films and television series, and in the mid-20th century it enjoyed a sudden burst of popularity, although it was also the subject of some rather surprising hostility. Among popular non-fictional bearers of the name are the film actor Jason Robards (1922–2000), his father (1893–1963), also a film actor, and, more recently, the Australian actor Jason Donovan (b. 1968).