Dick Beals, the TV and radio voice actor who’s character list includes Gumby and Speedy Alka Seltzer has dies in Southern Callifornia. He was 85.
Beal’s was the voice of Gumby on the original “The Gumby Show”, which first aired in the late 1950’s. He is also known as a voice over pitchman for over 3,000 commercials, including brands like Oscar Mayer and Campbell’s Soup.
Beals suffered from a glandular condition and took work that called for him to sound like a child. Beals stood 4 foot 6 and weighted 70 Lbs. His voice had not changed since elementary school, making him ideal for this kind of work.
Beals first gig was in 1949, when he got an offer to be on call for voice work on radio programs produced by WXYZ, Detroit. He often played kids or talking animals on shows like The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and Challenge of the Yukon for the radio station.
In 1952 he was selected by Wade Advertising to be the voice of Speedy Alka Seltzer and Sticky the Vaseline mascot.
Beals also did work for Warner Brothers cartoons, providing voices for the Fintstones and the Jetsons. Starting in 1960, he provided the voice for Davey in Davey and Goliath.
Beals had no immediate survivors.
“He was one of the great voice actors of all time,” said Ron Simon, curator of TV and radio at the Paley Center for Media, to the Los Angeles Times. “He was one of those anonymous people who pioneered what animation would become today.”