For TV’s Range Rider sidekick Dick Jones, life’s been quite a journey from his Texas home on the range birthplace to the California savings and loan industry. Born in 1927 in the small town of Snyder, Texas, Dick literally grew up in front of the camera. By the age of four he was billed as the “World’s Youngest Trick Rider and Trick Roper” at various local rodeos. In 1932, at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, his talents were spotted by an ex-rodeo performer named Edmund Gibson. The legendary silent-star, better known as Hoot Gibson, convinced Dick and his mother to “Go west, young man, go west!” Of course, for the world’s youngest professional cowboy to break into Hollywood, it didn’t hurt to have Hoot and his manager along for the ride.
Although Hoot’s career was in decline, he started Dick on an extensive television and movie career with a job at Warner Brothers. Dick performed child stunts for the show Wonder Bar, which starred Al Jolson, the man who had heralded in the era of sound in motion pictures. As other parts followed, Dick found himself working with more big-name stars, such as William Boyd, Tyrone Power, and Laurel and Hardy.
By 1938, Dick came to the attention of Walt Disney, who was looking for someone to lend a voice to his new animated character, “Pinocchio”. It was the perfect casting. Over a prolonged recording session of 19 months, Dick brought the classic…………..