Voice of Gumby Dies at 85

Dick Beals, the man who provided the voice for the commercial character Speedy Alka-Seltzer and originated the voice of Gumby and the first Davey from the TV series "Davey and Goliath," died Tuesday in Vista, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported.  He was 85.

Beals began his voice-over career in the 1940s with such radio shows as "The Lone Ranger," "The Green Hornet" and "Dragnet."  His Speedy Alka-Seltzer character was featured in more than 200 TV and radio commercials that aired from 1954 to 1964.  His stop-motion animation voice-over roles included the original Gumby from "The Gumby Show" in the 1950s and the voice of the first Davey from the 1960s TV series, "Davey and Goliath."

Because of a glandular condition, Beals stood just four-feet, six inches tall, weighed less than 70 pounds, and had a voice that never changed from grade school.

The Los Angeles Times reported back in 1992 that Beals' voice was featured in more than 3,000 commercials.

Ron Simon, curator of TV and Radio at the Paley Center for Media in L.A., says Beals was one of the great voice actors of all time.  Simon tells the Times, "He was one of those anonymous people who pioneered what animation would become today."

Beals had no immediate survivors.