Actor Dick Jones, who got his most famous role in his long career when he was 10 and chosen by Walt Disney to be the voice of Pinocchio, died Monday night, according to the Los Angeles County's coroner's office. He was 87.
Jones' wife called 911 when she found her husband collapsed at home in Northridge, according to Lt. Fred Corral of the coroner's investigation division. Paramedics pronounced Jones dead at the scene. The cause of death has not been determined.
Jones, who was known as Dickie when he made "Pinocchio," had appeared in nearly 40 films by the time he got the part in the 1940 animated feature, according to a Disney studio biography. "At the time 'Pinocchio' was just a job," Jones said. "Who knew it would turn out to be the classic that it is today? I count my lucky stars that I had a part in it."
His other childhood roles included small parts in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Destry Rides Again" and "Stella Dallas."
He later had numerous parts in early television, in shows such as "The Lone Ranger." And he played the title role in the 1955 "Buffalo Bill, Jr." series.
In the late 1950s he began a new career in real estate, and played only a few roles after that. But he did pop up in series such as "Wagon Train" and "The Blue Angels."
A complete obituary will follow in this space.