Entertainment & Arts

Dickie Jones, voice of Pinocchio, dies aged 87

Pinocchio with Figaro the cat Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Jones was 12 when he was cast as the wooden puppet who wanted to be "a real boy"

Dickie Jones, the US actor who voiced Pinocchio in Walt Disney's 1940 animated film, has died aged 87.

The Texas native - born Richard Percy Jones in February 1927 - died on 7 July after a fall at his home in Northridge, California.

He had more than 100 film credits to his name and in 1960 was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Jones got the part of the wooden puppet as a 12-year-old, having already appeared in almost 40 films.

In addition to voicing the part, he also served as a physical reference for the film's animators who based some of Pinocchio's movements on Jones's own.

Pinocchio was the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award, winning for original score and original song for When You Wish Upon a Star.

In 1994 the film was added to the United States National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

Jones's first role was an uncredited one, as a schoolboy in the 1934 crime caper Burn 'Em Up Barnes.

He was a prodigious horseman from a young age, billed at the age of four as the "World's Youngest Trick Rider and Trick Roper".

After Pinocchio, Jones starred in a number of westerns and an episode of The Lone Ranger. He also had his own TV series, Buffalo Bill Jr, which made use of his skills.

His last acting role was in the 1965 film Requiem for a Gunfighter, though he continued to attend promotional events linked to his best-known role.

In 2000 Jones joined the "Disney Legends", an internal Hall of Fame for individuals who have made a contribution to the studio's success.

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