Dickie Jones, best remembered for doing the voice of Pinocchio in the Disney classic, but who also appeared in many western movies and TV shows, died on Monday July 7. He was 87 years old.
Jones worked from early childhood in rodeos and wild west shows, exhibiting roping and trick riding skills that were truly remarkable for such a young child. Jones found his way into movies through the help of his friend, cowboy star Hoot Gibson. Jones’ charisma soon had him being offered more and bigger roles. While mostly doing westerns, Jones also appeared in such non-western films as “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Nancy Drew: Reporter,” and some Our Gang short comedies. In 1940, Jones played Henry Aldrich on the hit radio show, did the voice of Pinocchio the following year, while continuing to appear in many films with his friend Gene Autry.
As an adult, now known as Dick Jones, he served in World War Two, and by the 1950s was doing more work in television. Continuing to work in westerns, Jones appeared semi-regularly on shows like “Range Rider” and “Annie Oakley” before being given his own starring western TV series “Buffalo Bill Jr.
Gene Autry was Jones' strongest support during most of his career, producing "Buffalo Bill Jr." as a vehicle for the actor. Jones played a young Marshall who'd been orphaned as a child and brought up by the town Judge. The show ran 42 episodes in 1955-1956 and was part of the Saturday morning lineup in 1964.
Jones left acting in 1959, appearing only a few times afterward, the last in the 1965 film “Requiem for a Gunfighter.” He then went into real estate, founding White Hat Realty in 1992.
In the 21st century, a delighted Jones gave interviews, signed autographs, and enjoyed being remembered. He did promotional work for the 2009 blu ray release of “Pinocchio,” and guested at the Williamsburg western film festival in Virginia that same year.
Jones died peacefully at his home of natural causes.