Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dickie Jones | Voice of Pinocchio, 87

Actor Dick Jones, photographed in the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, Calif., in 2006 when he was a celebrity guest at the Lone Pine Film Festival.
Actor Dick Jones, photographed in the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, Calif., in 2006 when he was a celebrity guest at the Lone Pine Film Festival. DON KELSEN / Los Angeles Times

Dickie Jones, 87, who among more than 100 film and TV credits, was best known for a movie in which his face was not seen - the role of Pinocchio in the 1940 Disney film - died Monday after a fall at his Northridge, Calif., home.

He began performing when he was 4 and was billed as "the world's youngest trick rider and trick roper" in his native Texas. He became a protege of the cowboy actor Hoot Gibson and began appearing in westerns by age 7.

After roles in the Our Gang serial and the 1937 melodrama Stella Dallas, starring Barbara Stanwyck, he won an audition to become the voice of Pinocchio, beating out 200 others.

Because of the protracted production schedule of Pinocchio, he found time to act in 27 other movies from 1938 through 1940, including Destry Rides Again and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in which he played a Senate page.

In 1943 and 1944 he was Henry Aldrich, the central character in the radio comedy The Aldrich Family.

As Dick Jones, he starred in the short-lived TV series Buffalo Bill Jr. in the mid-1950s and in the 1958 teenage-gang film The Cool and the Crazy. After appearing in his final film, 1965's Requiem for a Gunfighter, he worked in real estate for many years. - Washington Post

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