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Walker Edmiston

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Walker Edmiston
Born(1926-02-06)February 6, 1926
DiedFebruary 15, 2007(2007-02-15) (aged 81)
Other namesWalter Edmiston
  • Actor
  • puppeteer
Years active1947–2006
Evelyn Edmiston
(m. 1950; died 1998)

Walker Edmiston (February 6, 1926[citation needed] – February 15, 2007) was an American actor and puppeteer.[1]

Early years[edit]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Edmiston participated in local theater productions during his high school years.[2] He later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse.[3]


In the 1950s, Edmiston worked on puppet shows on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.[4] His voice was heard on the puppet programs The Buffalo Billy Show[5] and Time for Beany[5]: 1085  and on Dumbo's Circus, which included live action and animation.[5]: 292  He was also a member of the cast of Lidsville[5]: 599  and voiced characters on Pandemonium.[5]: 807-808  He appeared in character roles on several TV programs during the 1950s through the '70s, including the Star Trek episode The Corbomite Maneuver as the voice of Balok.[6] He also appeared in Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Knots Landing, Adam-12, The Bob Newhart Show and The Dukes of Hazzard.[2] He also played a character based on "Chester" in "Gun-Shy," the Maverick parody of Gunsmoke starring James Garner.[7] In 1966, Edmiston had a recurring role as Regan in the short-lived ABC comedy western series The Rounders with co-stars Ron Hayes, Patrick Wayne, and Chill Wills.

Edmiston also did many television commercials and cartoon character voices, such as "Ernie the Keebler Elf" in hundreds of commercials for the cookie products of the Keebler Company, and voices for characters on H.R. Pufnstuf and The Bugaloos from the studios of Sid and Marty Krofft,[1] as well as a recurring role as Enik the Altrusian on that studio's Land of the Lost.[5]: 579-580  He also did many character voices on the Focus on the Family radio program, Adventures in Odyssey, in which he played the beloved Tom Riley and the infamous Bart Rathbone (and numerous other one-shot characters), for more than twenty years. At times the two characters would argue; however, Edmiston would require little redubbing or editing. He simply switched between the two characters without pause. After his death in 2007, the character of Riley was retired from the show, while Rathbone would make one more appearance (voiced by Robert Easton) before subsequently being written out as well.

Some of his voice credits were under the stage name Walter Edmiston. In 1985, he also voiced the Autobot Inferno in The Transformers.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, he hosted The Walker Edmiston Show, a children's television program in Los Angeles, California. The program featured puppets of his own creation including Kingsley the Lion, Ravenswood the Buzzard,[2] and Webster Webfoot.

In 1962, Edmiston and his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he began a daily puppet show on KOOL-TV.[3] He also was a stage director at Children's Theater in Phoenix.[8]

Personal life and death[edit]

Edmiston married Evelyn in 1950, and together they had two children, daughters Andria and Erin.[2] Evelyn died in 1998.[2]

Edmiston died from cancer in Woodland Hills, California on February 15, 2007.[1]



  1. ^ a b c "Walker Edmiston". Indiana Gazette. February 28, 2007. p. 4. Retrieved May 16, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e McLellan, Dennis (February 27, 2007). "Walker Edmiston, 81; voice artist, puppeteer was host of early L.A. children's TV show". The Los Angeles Times. p. 54. Retrieved July 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b Thomas, Margaret (September 30, 1962). "TV 'Voice' On The Go Here". Arizona Republic. Arizona, Phoenix. p. 40. Retrieved July 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2015). Sid and Marty Krofft: A Critical Study of Saturday Morning Children's Television, 1969-1993. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4766-0784-9. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ "BALOK". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  7. ^ Garner, James; Winokur, Jon (2012). The Garner Files: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4516-4261-2. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Vet Coaches Youngsters". Arizona Republic. Arizona, Phoenix. January 4, 1963. p. 27. Retrieved July 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ Scott, Keith (October 3, 2022). Cartoon Voices of the Golden Age, Vol. 2. BearManor Media. p. 431.

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