Voice of Gumby Dick Beals Dies

by David Weiner 9:58 AM PDT, June 01, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

Dick Beals, the voice-over star best known as the voice of the animated characters Gumby, Speedy Alka-Seltzer and Davey from Davey and Goliath, has died. He was 85.

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Beals died Tuesday at Vista Gardens Memory Care in Vista, according to The Los Angeles Times. The animation pioneer, whose radio and TV career spanned seven decades, stood only 4 foot 6 inches tall, weighed less than 70 pounds and had a voice that hadn't changed since grade school due to a glandular condition. But he turned his challenging situation into a golden opportunity in the late 1950s with his work in The Gumby Show, Davey and Goliath in the early '60s, and more than 200 Alka-Seltzer commercials that aired between 1954 and 1964. He also pitched for Oscar Mayer, Campbell's Soup, Bob's Big Boy and many other brands.

"He was one of the great voice actors of all time," Ron Simon, curator of TV and radio at the Paley Center for Media, told The Times. "He was one of those anonymous people who pioneered what animation would become today."

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Beals was also heard in such radio dramas as The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, Dragnet and Gunsmoke.