DICK BEALS MEETING MORE "ANGELS" @ 1 June 2012 02:08 PM
Tim Hollis and I met Dick Beals several years ago at a Lum and Abner convention in Arkansas, which featured a radio show reenactment in which he did his famous Speedy voice.
We share his loss with his friends, family and the many fans of his enormous body of voice work for commercials, cartoons and records -- for us, it was especially records.
Dick wrote a book called "Think Big" in which he chronicles his attitude to life and career, and the various "angels" who always seemed to come along to help him when he needed it. Dick was a little person who loved sports perhaps more than anything else, and was proud to call games for his college.
He was low-key and formal, yet very open to answer questions. I asked him about a particularly disturbing Suspense radio show in which he played a person who stayed a child throughout his life. He said he just took a script and did the work and didn't think about it. Professionalism was tantamount to him.
Like many boomers, I also grew up with his voice work on Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but particularly the HBR records: "Pixie & Dixie and Mr Jinks Tell the Story of Cinderella," "Winsome Witch in It's Magic," "Doggie Daddy Tells Augie Doggie the Story of Pinocchio," "The Story of GI Joe" and especially as the singing voice of Jack in "Jack and the Beanstalk" with Gene Kelly.
Recalling Jack and the Beanstalk, the 1967 Hanna-Barbera live action/animated TV special, he wrote that, even though young Bobby Riha sang the Cahn/Van Heusen songs for the capably, it was decided that Dick could sing them better and he looped them after the filming. Riha's stage mother was apparently incensed when Dick went public with that fact, since she was marketing her son as a triple-threat performer. He also wrote that he did initial voice work for Peanuts animation and no one realized he was adult, but when it was discovered, Charles Schulz insisted that the actors be children, nonetheless.
Dick also did a lot of work for Disney, including stints as Chip and/or Dale and Donald's nephews for records and cartoons.
If the voice of Dick Beals brings back memories for you, look for a multi-CD set called Peter Absolute on the Erie Canal in which he plays the lead.
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