Walker Edmiston, an early Los Angeles television kiddie show host and puppeteer who had a long career as a versatile voice-over artist whose credits included several of Sid and Marty Kroft's live action children's TV series in the 60' and 70's has died. He was 81. He voiced Ernie, The Keebler Elf in recent years. He died of complications from cancer February 15th at his Woodland Hills Home.
He became the replacement voice for the Walter Lanz character Wally Walrus and he did incidental voices on "Time For Beany" the original puppet version in the 1950's. He had his own show in the 1950's and 60's on local channels in which he worked with his own characters he created - Kingsley the Lion, Calii the Cat and Ravenswood the Buzzard.
He did Dr. Blinky and Orson the Vulture on "H.R. Puffnstuff:, Sparky the Firefly on "Bugaloos", Enik on "Land of the Lost" and Sigmund Ooze - and Sigmund's brothers Blurp and Slurp - on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters." Marty Kroft once said "he was one of the most talented voice over people in town."
As an actor he also made appearances frequently on episodes of "Gunsmoke", "The Big Valley", "Mission Impossible", "Batman", "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Knots Landing."
He played "the nicest guy in town" named Tom Riley on "Adventures in Odyssey" a radio series set in a small town produced by the nonprofit Focus on the Family. He had been with the show, which is in its 19th year, since the first episode.
He is survived by one daughter, Erin, who said he had continued to work until January when he became very ill. His wife of 48 years, Evelyn, died in 1998 and his other daughter, Andria, died in 1987.
As a kid in LA in the late 1940's and 1950's I grew up with this amazing man. His voice-over work and puppets where one the joys of growing up with early live television in Los Angeles. This is very sad for me. I never met the man, but I knew him very well. I could always tell it was his voice because I had been listening to him for years.