B-Western Child Star and Voice of Classic Disney Character Dead at 87

Jul 8, 2014  •  Post A Comment

An actor who appeared in many Westerns on TV and in theaters, and who provided the voice of one of Disney's classic animated characters, has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Richard Percy Jones, who voiced Pinocchio in the 1940 animated feature, died Monday at his home in Northridge, Calif. He was 87.

The cause of death had not been determined.

Usually billed as Dickie Jones early in his career, and later as Dick Jones as he grew up, Jones appeared in a string of B-Westerns as a child actor in the 1930s and had small roles in the Our Gang movies and in classics including "Babes in Toyland" in 1934 and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in 1939.

"From 1951-53, Jones played Dick West/Jimmy the Kid in 78 episodes of the TV series 'The Range Rider,'" THR reports. "He also made several appearances as various characters on the 1950-54 series 'The Gene Autry Show' and the 1954-55 series 'Annie Oakley.'"

He went on to star in the title role in "Buffalo Bill Jr.," a Western TV series that aired for two seasons in 1955-1956.

About his work on "Pinocchio," the story reports: "Jones voiced the role of the puppet who wants to be a boy — and whose nose grows each time he tells a lie — in the classic Disney film as a child actor. He also performed on the songs 'Give a Little Whistle,' 'Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee' and 'I've Got No Strings.'"

Jones' last credit was in 1965, on the film "Requiem for a Gunfighter." He reportedly went into real estate and banking after retiring from acting during the 1960s.

Here's a clip from "Pinocchio":

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