2003   JULY 23   #204

Dick Beals - Demo Tape

Another year searching the used reel-to-reel tapes at the ALS sale brought me a bundle of commercial demo tapes from the '60's and '70's. In most cases, these were reels filled with shorter demo tapes which had been spliced together, and some of the tapes did not even all play in the same direction on the reel or at the same speed. Some were company demos, indicating their ability to sell a variety of products, and others were agency demos, indicating (back to back) the abilities of each of their "talents", some of whom are well known actors, with about 30 seconds of commercial segments for each performer.

Buried within one of these tapes, I found this gem. It is different from most of the tapes in that batch, both in that it represents the work of a single performer, and also in that the tape is hosted by that performer. I've since learned that Dick Beals is no run-of-the-mill voice-over talent. He's been the voice of Speedy Alka-Seltzer (heard here), Gumby, "The Funny Company"'s Shrinking Violet, several voices on "The Flintstones", and dozens, if not hundreds of other voices in cartoons, over the years, in addition to his commercial work. Since hearing this tape, I've made a habit of searching the credits of animated shows from the '60's and '70's, and as often as not, his name is listed there. Have a look for yourself.

- Bob Purse

TT-6:06 / 5.6MB / 128kbps 44.1khz

Dick Beals writes! :
Just read your article describing my work as a voice actor. Regarding Davey and Goliath, one of my favorite shows.

Phil Johnson writes:
Just a skosh bit of trivia -- the four foot high Dick Beals was the original voice of Davey in the stop action animation series "Davey and Goliath". He was later replaced by a woman's voice, that of Norma McMillian. D/G is also trying desperately to make a comeback in 2005 -- if they can pony up the dough. See, http://www.daveyandgoliath.org - and check out the video section, http://www.daveyandgoliath.org/videos.html - it has some nifty clips. Additionally, Richard Beals published an autobiography in 1992 called "Think Big".

Dana Countryman writes:
A good interview with Dick Beals is at: http://www.msualum.com/interviews/.
Also, here's a good picture of him...

(Image courtesy of Dana Countryman)

Max Swanson writes:
Thanks a lot, Otis and Bob--Bob Purse, that is. Because of your collective efforts I just heard an excerpt from the scariest damn radio show ever! We're talking here about, "Return to Dust," starring Richard Beals. Heard it on "Suspense" while in about 9th grade, far too old to be scared by a mere radio drama. Can still remember wondering how I'd get to sleep that night. Spoiler: Mr. Beals, as the incredible shrinking scientiist, does indeed get smaller and smaller. You may not know that in his larger days he kept a parokete or parrot; anyway, the bird's name was Dr. Pasteur. The winged doctor gets out of his cage toward the conclusion of the episode. Now you may think that this is the end; well, it is!