Richard Percy Jones (Dick Jones), the voice of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, is dead at 87. He died at his home in Northridge, California of apparently natural causes.
Jones was born in Snyder, Texas in 1927. At a very young age he began riding horses and was known as “World’s Youngest Trick Rider and Trick Roper”. He began to perform in rodeos at age six for Hoot Gibson. It was Gibson that convinced Jones’ mother to take him to Hollywood. Once in Hollywood, Gibson arranged some roles for “Dickie Jones,” often in Westerns and often smaller roles. He appeared as a page in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and also did an impersonation of Donald Duck while playing a troubled kid in Nancy Drew… Reporter.
Doing a knock off Donald Duck impression was not to be his only Disney connection however. Walt Disney hired him to voice the title character of Pinocchio.
Towards the end of World War II, Jones served in the Army in Alaska before returning to the United States to perform mainly on television. Some of the more well known shows he appeared on include The Lone Ranger, Pony Express, and Wagon Train. His final role was in 1965’s Requiem for a Gunfighter. From there he moved into real estate and eventually founded White Hat Realty in 1992.
Richard Percy Jones was honored as a Disney Legend in 2000 and in 2009 was a part of the promotion of the Platinum Edition of Pinocchio on DVD.