Dick Beals, voice of Gumby, dies at age 85
Dick Beals turned a glandular condition into a thriving career.
The radio and television voice-over star whose work included the animated characters Gumby and Speedy Alka-Seltzer died in Southern California on Tuesday at Vista Gardens Memory Care, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was 85.
Beals was the original voice of the title character on The Gumby Show in the late 1950s. Any who watched will remember that Gumby’s voice had a high-pitched tone. Beals’ voice, because of his glandular condition, hadn’t changed since elementary school. He stood 4 feet 6 inches tall, and he weighed less than 70 pounds. He often got jobs that called for a child-like voice.
“I’m the voice of little babies to 15-year-olds. In cartoons, I have also been the voice of all kinds of animals — parrots, chipmunks, birds, rabbits, you name it,” Beals said in 1992.
By the time he stopped working, he had been the unseen pitchman in more than 3,000 commercials for products including Oscar Mayer and Campbell’s Soup.