Dick Jones
Jones (right) as Henry Aldrich with Jackie Kelk on The Aldrich Family, circa 1943–44
Richard Percy Jones[1]

(1927-02-25)February 25, 1927
DiedJuly 7, 2014(2014-07-07) (aged 87)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active1934–1965
Betty Jones
(m. 1948)

Richard Percy Jones (February 25, 1927 – July 7, 2014), known as Dick Jones or Dickie Jones, was an American actor and singer who achieved success as a child performer and as a young adult, especially in B-Westerns. In 1938, he played Artimer "Artie" Peters, nephew of Buck Peters, in the Hopalong Cassidy film The Frontiersman. He is also known as the voice of Pinocchio in Walt Disney's film of the same name.

Early life

Jones was born on February 25, 1927,[1] in Snyder, some ninety miles south of Lubbock, Texas.[2] The son of a newspaper editor, Jones was a prodigious horseman from infancy, having been 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, who convinced young Jones and his parents that he should come to Hollywood.[3] Jones and his mother moved there, and 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 as well as in more substantial productions.[4]


Among his early films are Little Men (1934) and A Man to Remember (1938). Jones appeared as a bit player in several of Hal Roach's Our Gang (The Little Rascals) shorts, including The Pigskin Palooka and Our Gang Follies of 1938 (both from 1937). In 1939, Jones appeared as a troublesome kid, Killer Parkins, in the film Nancy Drew... Reporter. 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 roles, as the voice of Pinocchio in 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 the Alaska Territory during the final months of World War II.[4]

Gene Autry, who before the war had cast Jones in several westerns, put him back to work through Autry's Flying A Pictures and, for television, his Flying A Productions. Jones guest-starred regularly on The Gene Autry Show in the early 1950s.[3]

He appeared in a 1950 episode of the TV series The Lone Ranger titled "Man Without a Gun". In 1950, at the age of twenty-three, he played the 16-year-old cook for a small Confederate Army unit in the film Rocky Mountain.[4]

By 1951, he was billed as Dick Jones, and starred as Dick West, sidekick to the Western hero known as The Range Rider, played by Jock Mahoney, in a Gene Autry television series that ran for seventy-six episodes in syndication, beginning in 1951.[3]

Jones was cast thereafter in 1954 and 1955 in four episodes of Annie Oakley, another Flying A Production. Autry gave Jones his own series, Buffalo Bill, Jr. (1955), which ran for forty-two episodes in syndication.

Jones's last acting role was as Cliff Fletcher in the 1965 film Requiem for a Gunfighter.[3]


In 2000, Dick Jones was named one of the Disney Legends. In early 2009, Jones performed promotional events for the Platinum Edition DVD and Blu-ray release of Pinocchio.[5] In March 2009, he was a guest star at the Williamsburg Film Festival.

Personal life and death

Jones married his wife Betty in 1948, together they had four children; Rick, Jeffrey, Jennifer and Melody.[6] They remained married until Jones' death in 2014.[6]

Jones died after a fall at his home on the evening of July 7, 2014, at the age of 87.[7]



  1. ^ a b Dick Jones profile. The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  2. ^ The Los Angeles Times, in its story on Jones's death in July 2014 gives his place of birth as McKinney in Collin County in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The LA Times also listed his two daughters as his sisters.
  3. ^ a b c d Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 113–115
  4. ^ a b c "Dickie Jones: Biography and Filmography". matineeclassics.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Pinocchio – Dickie Jones is the boy who gave Pinocchio his voice and his nose", The Telegraph (February 27, 2009).
  6. ^ a b AP (July 8, 2014). "Dick Jones dies at 87; actor who provided voice of Disney's Pinocchio". latimes.com. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  7. ^ Colker, David (July 8, 2014). "Dick Jones dies at 87; actor who provided voice of Disney's Pinocchio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 9, 2014.

Further reading