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Walker Edmiston

Congrats on your TERRIFIC web site. I've really enjoyed it over the years, particularly your coverage of LA kid's shows.

As you undoubtedly know by now, Walker Edmiston passed away a few weeks ago, and I'd like to suggest maybe you could do a little tribute to him. I, too, was a puppeteer and even though Walker wouldn't win any awards as the world's greatest ventriloquist, I loved his puppet work and remember it very well. Oh, how I'd like to know if and/or where those puppets are now!

- Jim Coyle, Bethel, CT

Kevin S. Butler writes: Walker Edmiston TV puppeteer and cartoon voice over performer died at a hospital in Woodland Hills, CA on February 15, 2007. His age was not known.

A talented puppeteer, Edmiston began his career in local Hollywood kid's TV performing on such shows as Time For Beany with Bob Clampett, Daws Butler and Stan Freberg at KTLA TV 5 in the early 1950's. He also worked on other L.A. based kid's TV puppets shows such as Thunderbolt the Wonder Colt and Willy The Wolf. Thunderbolt was based upon a character created by Clampett and would turn up on an episode of the Beany & Cecil cartoons on ABC in the early 1960's.

Edmiston hosted his own series, The Walker Edmiston Show, on KTLA 5 for a time where he created and manipulated his many puppet characters including the pompous, poetic fowl R. Craig Ravenswood. Ravenswood became a popular figure with L.A. kids and would also appear on Lunch With Sheriff John (Rovick) on KTTV 11 in Hollywood. (Walker's Ravenswood and Sheriff John Rovick would be reunited for a brief segment of KABC's tribute to local children's TV hosts Weekday Heroes in 1987).

Walker's first venture as a cartoon VO performer was on an episode of Hanna-Barbera and ABC TV's The Flintstones titled "This Is Your Lifesaver." Edmiston played con artist J. Montague Gypsum, a bum who went to work for Fred and Barney but who did little more than mooch on their generosity. He also contributed voices for other TV cartoon series such as Top Cat, Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, The Smurfs, The Monchhichis, The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Hour, Transformers and Jem.

Walker Edmiston also did VO's for two installments of ABC TV's Saturday Superstar Movies - Yogi's Ark Lark as the voices of Yakky Doodle, Hokey Wolf & Squiddly Diddly and Nanny And The Professor and the Phantom of the Circus as the voice of Zambini. (That cartoon featured the voices of the original cast of the sitcom - Juliet Mills, Kim Richards, Trent Lehman, David Doremus and Richard Long.)

He also did VO's for two installments of ABC's Weekend Specials Miss Switch To The Rescue and Runaway Ralph and worked on two of the Krofft Brothers' puppet shows - H.R. Pufnstuf, in which he did the voices for the male puppets including Freddie the Flute, and Land Of The Lost as the voice of the gentle Sleestak Enoch who tries to help the Marshall family escape from the prehistoric realm. Walker was seen on episodes of Star Trek, The Red Skelton Show and Mission Impossible.

He also followed the late Paul Frees as the voice of Walt Disney's Prof. Ludwig Von Drake and became the second actor to do the voice of Ernie Keebler the cookie baking elf for the Keebler commercials when the original actor Mr. Parley Baer was unable to work due to illness.

I was lucky enough to interview Walker Edmiston a few years ago and he was a kindly and knowledgeable gentleman who generously gave his time and a wealth of information about his career to me. He will be missed.

 

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"Walker was one of the most talented voice people in town," producer Marty Krofft said. "He had such a tremendous voice range and, especially for the Krofft shows, he could do everything." - L.A. Times obit

Walker Edmiston, a TV and movie veteran actor, died in 2007. He was a much beloved figure in the business best known for his many cartoon voices, like Ernie the Keebler Elf and Inferno in Transformers for instance. Horror fans and anyone who ever saw the TV movie Trilogy of Terror (1975) will know him as the voice of the Zuni fetish doll. Oh yeah, I know you remember that creepy little doll with a knife chasing poor Karen Black around the room.

I stumbled upon an interview Edmiston did talking about the wonderful Hal Smith (The Andy Griffith Show); in the interview, Edmiston speaks about Smith's LA local kid show The Pancake Man.

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