|Born||Richard Percy Jones
February 25, 1927
Snyder, Scurry County, Texas, U.S.
|Other names||Dicky Jones
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor|
Dickie Jones (born February 25, 1927) is an American actor who achieved some success as a child actor and as a young adult, especially in B-Westerns and television. He is probably best known as the voice of Pinocchio in the 1940 Walt Disney film Pinocchio.
Jones was born in Snyder, the seat of Scurry County on the South Plains in Texas. The son of a newspaper editor, Jones was a prodigious horseman from infancy, billed at the age of four as the "World's Youngest Trick Rider and Trick Roper".
At the age of six, he was hired to perform riding and lariat tricks in the rodeo owned by western star Hoot Gibson. Gibson convinced young Jones and his parents that there was a place for him in Hollywood, so the boy and his mother moved there.
Gibson arranged for some small parts for the boy, whose good looks, energy and pleasant voice quickly landed him more and bigger parts, both in low-budget Westerns and in more substantial productions. Although often uncredited, he was usually known as Dickie Jones. Among his early film roles are Little Men (1934) and A Man to Remember (1938).
Jones also appeared as a bit player in several of Hal Roach's Our Gang (Little Rascals) shorts. In 1939, Dickie Jones appeared as a troublesome kid named 'Killer Parkins' in the film, Nancy Drew... Reporter. In the film he did a good imitation of Donald Duck. The same year he appeared with Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as Senate page Richard (Dick) Jones. In 1940, he had one of his most prominent (though invisible) roles, as the voice of Pinocchio in Walt Disney's animated film of the same name. Jones attended Hollywood High School and at fifteen took over the role of Henry Aldrich on the hit radio show The Aldrich Family.
He learned carpentry and augmented his income with jobs in that field. He served in the Army in Alaska during the final months of World War II. Gene Autry, who before the war had cast Jones in several westerns, put him back to work in films and particularly in television, on programs produced by Autry's company.
In 1950, he played a memorable role as the 16 year old cook of a small Confederate Army unit in Rocky Mountain starring alongside many veteran actors including Errol Flynn. Now billed as Dick Jones, the handsome young man starred as Dick West, sidekick to the Western hero known as The Range Rider, played by Jock Mahoney, in a television series that ran for seventy-six episodes in syndication, beginning in 1951. Jones was cast thereafter in 1954 and 1955 in four episodes of another Autry syndicated western series Annie Oakley, with Gail Davis and Brad Johnson.
Autry gave Jones his own series, Buffalo Bill, Jr. (1955), which ran for forty-two episodes in syndication. In 1957, Jones appeared twice as Ned in the episodes "The Brothers" and "Renegade Rangers" of the syndicated American Civil War series Gray Ghost, with Tod Andrews in the title role of Confederate Major John Singleton Mosby. In 1958, during the filming of the The Cool and the Crazy, he and fellow actor Richard Bakalyan were arrested for vagrancy in Kansas City, Missouri. They were standing on the corner between takes in "juvenile delinquent" outfits and the police thought that they were actual gang members. It took several hours for the film crew to remedy the misunderstanding and to get Jones and Bakalyan from jail.
In 1960, he guest-starred as Bliss in the episode "Fire Flight" of another syndicated series, The Blue Angels, about the elite air-show squadron of the United States Navy. About this time, he was cast in Grant Sullivan's syndicated western series, Pony Express. In 1962, Jones portrayed John Hunter in the episode "The Wagon Train Mutiny" of NBC's long-running western series Wagon Train starring John McIntire. That same year, he appeared in the television short The Night Rider starring Johnny Cash as Johnny Laredo and Eddie Dean as Trail Boss Tim.
Jones' last acting role was as Cliff Fletcher in the 1965 film Requiem for a Gunfighter.
In 1959, Jones had largely retired from acting and began his new career in real estate. In 1992, he founded White Hat Realty.
In 2000, Dick Jones was named one of the Disney Legends.
- Dick Jones. movies.nytimes.com
- Pinocchio – Dickie Jones is the boy who gave Pinocchio his voice and his nose. The Telegraph (27 February 2009)
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