Actor Dick Jones passed away on July 7, 2014, at the age of 87, after a fall in his home. Jones is best known as the voice actor for Disney’s Pinocchio in the classic 1940’s animated feature film. Jones was notable for being a child actor in an animated role, since it was (and to an extent, still is) the norm to cast adults in child roles. Jones also provided film reference for animators, dancing in costume, and has the dubious distinction of being able to say the gig truly was torture, since he was briefly waterboarded as the sound crew experimented to find ways to make Pinocchio sound as if he was underwater (the technique was finally accomplished using a rotating device).
Richard Percy Jones was born on February 25, 1927, in McKinney, Texas, and began his show business career in rodeos when he was about 5 years old. He and his family moved to Hollywood after movie cowboy Hoot Gibson saw him performing, and was working mostly in Westerns starting in 1934. He was about 10 when he was cast as Pinocchio, which was the biggest role of his career. After serving in World War II, he appeared briefly in other Western movies and early TV shows, Jones transitioned to a career in real estate when landing roles became more difficult.