Actor Dick Beals

Richard Beals (March 16, 1927 – May 29, 2012) was an American voice actor, who performed many voices in his career, which spanned the period from the early 1950s into the 21st century. Beals voiced both male and female children.

Perhaps his most recognizable characterization was the voice of the stop-motion animation figure called “Speedy Alka-Seltzer”, featured in television commercials for more than 50 years.

Early life

Beals was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 16, 1927, and graduated in 1949 from Michigan State University (MSU), 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 children’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.

Beals was a member of the cast of The Hudson Sketchbook, the “first regularly scheduled TV program to go on the air in Detroit,” on WWJ-TV.

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 Alka-Seltzer, Oscar Mayer, the Campbell Soup Kids, and Bob’s Big Boy. Beals recorded his first Speedy Alka-Seltzer television commercial in 1953, doing a total of 225 in his career.

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 Bros. Cartoons. The cartoon was nominated for an Academy Award.

Beals continued doing voices for cartoons Warner Bros. Cartoons cartoons, often as uncredited secondary characters. When Hanna-Barbera started with The Flintstones, and then The Jetsons, Beals provided many of the children’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 with the exception of season 3.

From 1960 to 1964, Beals 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 MacMillan replaced him as Davey.

Although some sources say that Beals voiced Gumby in the 1960s, Beals himself refuted this claim in a 2001 interview.

Beals provided voices for both the characters “Yank” and “Dan” of the “American Eagles” troupe in the mid-1960s cartoon series Roger Ramjet. In 1967, Beals was the singing voice of child actor Bobby Riha as “Jack” in the NBC-TV special Jack and the Beanstalk starring Gene Kelly. He was the voice of Buzz Conroy, the boy scientist on Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles, and Richie Rich’s mischievous cousin, Reggie Van Dough on Richie Rich. Beals was also the voice of Birdboy on Birdman and the Galaxy Trio as well as the voices for Buzzer Bell, Jasper N. Parks and on rare occasions sharing the voice role of Nancy Wible as Shrinking Violette on The Funny Company. He also provided the voice for the recurring villain Tiny Tom in the 1966–1969 cartoon series The Lone Ranger.

A unique on-camera role came in a 1960 episode of Peter Gunn called “The Dummy”, in which he played a human ventriloquist’s dummy that performs the act on its own, since the ventriloquist had lost his voice, his other live action role was in the 1950s television series Craig Kennedy, Criminologist, playing as Bobby “Butch” Moore in the episode “The Kid Brother”.

In the 1980s, Beals owned an ad agency. During the late 1980s, Beals provided the voices for various characters on Garfield and Friends with the most major character he voiced being Jon’s cruel nephew Rosco. In the 1987 release of Arnold Leibovit’s The Puppetoon Movie, Beals provided the voice for the character Speedy Alka-Selzer.

From 1989–1993, he played Nicholas Adamsworth on the Focus on the Family radio drama Adventures in Odyssey.

In 1996, Beals provided the voice of the Pinocchio puppet in the horror film Pinocchio’s Revenge.

Beals continued doing occasional voice acting, appearing as a guest at Old Time Radio conventions and as a motivational speaker. He was active as an alumnus of Michigan State University and in his spare time he enjoyed spending time on his yacht Think Big.

He retired from voice acting in late 2005, his final voice acting role was Baby-Faced Moonbeam in the animated television series Duck Dodgers.

Personal life

Beals wrote in his autobiography, Think Big, that his high voice and boyish appearance were 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 was 4 foot 7 inches (just under 140 cm) tall and weighed just under 70 pounds (about 31 kg). Despite his short stature, he flew planes using modified controls.


Beals died on May 29, 2012, at Vista Gardens Memory Care in Vista, California, at the age of 85.



Year Title Role Notes
1947 Wings for Roger Windsock Roger Windsock Short Film; uncredited
1953 From A to Z-Z-Z-Z Ralph Phillips Short Film; uncredited
1957 Boyhood Daze Ralph Phillips Short Film; uncredited
1957 The Snow Queen The Prince English Version
1987 The Puppetoon Movie Speedy Alka-Seltzer
1996 Pinocchio’s Revenge Pinocchio Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1960–1965 Davey and Goliath David ‘Davey’ Hansen / Teddy / Nat / Joe / Boys / Timmy / Tommy / Sailor / Jody / Sam / Henry / Nathaniel / Barney / Mike / Boy on Sled Main cast; 40 episodes; credited as Richard Beals
1962 The Road Runner Show Additional voices Episode: “Adventures of the Road Runner”
1962 The Jetsons Arthur Spacely 3 episodes
1963 The Funny Company Buzzer Bell / Shrinking Violet Main cast; 155 episodes
1963–1967 The Gumby Show Gumby Main cast; 22 episodes
1964 The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo Additional voices
1964 The Flintstones Kids / Elf #1 / The Scouts 2 episodes
1965 Roger Ramjet Yank / Dan 7 episodes
1965–1966 The Secret Squirrel Show Clyde / Wee Winnie / 2nd Young Boy / Broom / Young Boy / Son / Boy / Tom Thumb / Scouts / Eddie / Students / Charley / Surfer / Tommy / Additional voices 12 episodes
1966–1967 Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles Buzz Conroy 18 episodes
1966–1968 The Lone Ranger Tiny Tom 2 episodes
1967 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack (singing voice) TV Movie
1967 Birdman Birdboy Episode: “The Return of Vulturo”
1979 Casper and the Angels Additional voices Episode: “Love at First Fright/Saving Grace in Outer Space”
1980–1981 The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show Reggie Van Dough 21 episodes
1980–1983 Richie Rich Reggie Van Dough 35 episodes
1983 ABC Weekend Specials Floog / Flub / Blib / Little Green Man #2 / Og Boy / Flan 2 episodes; credited as Richard Beals
1983 Saturday Supercade Additional voices Episode: “The Who-Took-Toadwalker Story/Banana Bikers/Disc Derby Fiasco/Rocky Mountain Monkey Business”
1983 The Biskitts Scat 13 episodes
1987 DuckTales Additional voices Episode: “Superdoo!”; credited as Richard Beals
1989 Dink, the Little Dinosaur Additional voices Episode: “Crusty’s Baby/The Gentle Hunter”
1989 Garfield and Friends Roscoe 2 episodes
1992–1993 The Addams Family N.J. Normanmeyer 10 episodes
1995 That’s Warner Bros.! Various Characters
1996 The Bugs n’ Daffy Show Various Characters
2004–2005 Duck Dodgers Baby-Faced Moonbeam 2 episodes; final role


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Craig Kennedy, Criminologist Bobby ‘Butch’ Moore Episode: “The Kid Brother”; credited as Richard Beals
1955 My Little Margie Head Alien Episode: “Vern’s Flying Saucer”; credited as Richard Beals
1960 Peter Gunn Rinaldo Episode: “The Dummy”; credited as Richard Beals


  • Alka-Seltzer – Speedy Alka-Seltzer (1953–1976)
  • External Links

    Actor Dick Beals – Wikipedia

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