Associated Press
June 01, 2012 AT 02:19 PM EDT

The radio and television voice-over star whose work included the animated characters Gumby and Speedy Alka-Seltzer has died in Southern California. Dick Beals was 85. A friend, Peter Gorman, tells the Los Angeles Times that Beals died in the northern San Diego County community of Vista.

Beals’ was the original voice of the title character on The Gumby Show in the late 1950s. He also was the unseen pitchman in more than 3,000 commercials for such products as Oscar Mayer and Campbell’s Soup. He often got jobs that called for him to sound like a child because he suffered from a glandular condition. His voice hadn’t changed since elementary school.

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