Richard "Dick" Beals (born March 16, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American voice actor. He has performed many voices in his career, which spans from the early 1950s into the 21st century. He specialized primarily in doing the voices of young boys.
Perhaps his most recognizable characterization was the voice of the stop-motion animation figure called "Speedy Alka-Seltzer", featured in TV ads for more than 50 years. Beals graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1949, where he majored in radio broadcasting and puppetry. He covered intramural sports and performed in weekly radio dramas for the campus radio station WKAR. Beals was also a member of the Michigan State cheerleading squad.
In January 1949, as a senior at MSU, Beals got a call to do a radio commercial for WXYZ, Detroit. After the show, the director asked him to be on call for all the kid's voices as well as those of small, talking animals on all three network radio shows produced by WXYZ - The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and Challenge of the Yukon.
In 1952, after performing in an episode of The Green Hornet, WXYZ station manager Jack McCarthy referred Beals to Forrest Owen of Wade Advertising. Owen showed Beals a rendering of a proposed product spokesman for their client, Alka-Seltzer and had him record a voice audition. Four months later, Beals was notified that he had been selected as the voice for Speedy Alka-Seltzer as well as the voice of Sticky, the Vaseline mascot.
Beals moved to Los Angeles where he continued making commercials as Speedy Alka-Seltzer and also provided voices for other commercials, such as Oscar Mayer, the Campbell Soup Kids, and Bob's Big Boy.
In 1953, Beals was hired to do the voice for his first cartoon character. This was Ralph Phillips, a Walter Mitty type boy in From A to Z-Z-Z-Z by Warner Brothers. The cartoon was nominated for an Academy Award.
Beals continued doing voices for Warner Brothers cartoons, often as un-credited secondary characters. When Hanna-Barbera started with the Flintstones, and then The Jetsons, Beals did many of the kid's voices on those shows, sometimes performing several different minor characters on the same show. One of his recurring roles was as Mr. Spacely's son Arthur on The Jetsons.
Beals voiced the famous claymation character Gumby when it was first televised on NBC in 1957. From 1960 to 1964, he played the voice of Davey Hansen, as well as other child voices, on Davey and Goliath. He did not do any voices for that series after 1965, when Norma McMillan replaced him as Davey Hansen.
Beals provided voices for both the characters "Yank" and "Dan" of the "American Eagles" troupe in the mid-1960s cartoon series Roger Ramjet. He was the voice of Buzz Conroy, the boy scientist on Frankenstein, Jr. and The Impossibles, and Richie Rich's naughty cousin, Reggie Van Dough on Richie Rich. Beals was also the voice of Birdboy on Birdman and the Galaxy Trio.
During the late 1980s, Beals provided the voices for various characters on Garfield and Friends his most major character being Jon's cruel nephew Rosco.
In 1996, Beals provided the voice of the Pinocchio puppet in the horror film Pinocchio's Revenge.
Beals continues doing occasional voice acting, appears as a guest at Old Time Radio conventions and works as a motivational speaker. He is active as an alumnus of Michigan State University and in his spare time he enjoys spending time on his yacht.
Beals wrote in his autobiography, Think Big. His high voice and boyish appearance are due to a glandular problem; he did not go through puberty (much like Walter Tetley, who had provided the voice for Sherman on The Bullwinkle Show). Beals is 4 foot 7 inches tall and just under 70 pounds. Despite his short stature, he has been able to fly planes using modified controls.
- Cohen, Harold (20 March 1967). "The Monday Wash". Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh). p. 19.
- Dressler, Catherine (27 October 1992). "Little big man". Beaver County Times (Pennsylvania). p. 17.
- "Cheers for Michigan State Footballers". The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida). 13 December 1945. p. 18.
- Boston Herald (28 March 2010) TV Q&A with David Inman