The Gumby Show (1956–1968)
Dick Beals, who also voiced the lead character in TV's Davey & Goliath, was 85.
Beals suffered from a glandular condition which left him with the body and voice of a child.
His distinctive childlike qualities helped the actor become a hit in broadcasting in the 1940s, when he was first heard on radio shows like The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet.
He moved to Hollywood in 1952 and signed on to front Alka-Seltzer ads as animated sprite Speedy.
The character was featured in more than 200 commercials that aired from 1954 to 1964, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As well as his roles in Davey & Goliath and The Gumby Show, Beals also sang with Gene Kelly in the 1967 TV special Jack and the Beanstalk and he beat out 300 child actors for the role of N.J. Normanmeyer in the early 1990s animated series The Addams Family - at the age of 65.
Away from Hollywood, Beals opened an ad agency in his adopted Escondido, California and served as a high school sports announcer.
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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
Beals' was the original voice of the title character on "The Gumby Show" in the late 1950s. He also was the unseen pitchman in more than 3,000 commercials for such products as Oscar Mayer and Campbell's Soup.
He often got jobs that called for him to sound like a child because he suffered from a glandular condition. His voice hadn't changed since elementary school.
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