Remembering Walker Edminston, born February 6, 1925 and passed away on February 15, 2007.
Walker Edmiston was an actor and voiceover artist who lent his voice to at least five episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Although his credits include appearances on numerous classic television shows, he is best known for his work as a voice actor (he was often called “man-of-a-thousand-voices”).
Early in his career, Edmiston worked as host, voice actor, and puppeteer for various children’s programs. He even hosted his own kid’s show, The Walker Edmiston Show, during the 1950s and early 1960s. He went on to work on several children’s programs developed by Sid and Marty Krofft, including the venerable H.R. Pufnstuf, on which he voiced Freddy, the talking gold flute.
In 1962, Edmiston released a novelty song entitled I Dreamt I Saw Kruschev (In a Pink Caddilac), in which he sang both on the voice of Barky, the dog from his show, and the voice of the Soviet leader.
Another Krofft production which featured Edmiston was Land of the Lost, on which he played “Enik”, who originally appeared in an episode written by Walter Koenig. In his original script, Koenig spelled it “Eneg” to honor Gene Roddenberry. (Eneg is Gene spelled backwards.) The make-up for Edmiston’s character, and all the others, was done by Michael Westmore; the dinosaurs were built by Wah Chang.
Other Krofft productions on which Edmiston worked include Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and The Bugaloos.
Some of the other characters he is known for voicing include Inferno on The Transformers and, more recently, Ernie the head Keebler Elf in commercials for Keebler cookies. In addition, he lent his voice to such cartoons as The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Disney’s The Gummi Bears, Jem, and various Spider-Man shows. His voice was also heard in various episodes of The Waltons as well as such films as The Green Berets (1968, with George Takei and Irene Tsu), Bullitt (1968, with Vic Tayback, Ed Peck, Joanna Cassidy, Dick Geary and Vic Perrin), Robert Wise’s The Andromeda Strain (1971, with Kermit Murdock, Bart La Rue, Michael Pataki, Garry Walberg, and cinematography by Richard H. Kline), The Great Mouse Detective (1986, starring Barrie Ingham and also featuring Eve Brenner and Wayne Allwine), Fat Man and Little Boy (1989, with Dwight Schultz, Jon DeVries, Ed Lauter, Logan Ramsey and Alan Oppenheimer), and Dick Tracy (1990, with Ian Wolfe, Paul Sorvino, Colm Meaney, John Schuck, Seymour Cassel, Hamilton Camp, Chuck Hicks, Mike Hagerty, Robert Costanzo, Ed McCready, Bert Remsen and Michael J. Pollard).
As an actor, he made frequent appearances on such classic television shows as The Big Valley (where in one episode, “Forty Rifles”, he coincidentally played a character named “Spock”!), The Wild Wild West (with Barry Atwater, Lee Bergere, Michael Dunn, and Joseph Ruskin), Gunsmoke (with Vince Deadrick, John Fiedler, Charles Seel, and Paul Sorenson), Mission: Impossible (with Joanna Cassidy, Biff Elliot, and William Windom), Barnaby Jones, and Little House on the Prairie.
Other TV shows on which he has appeared include Maverick, Green Acres, Get Smart (with Paul Comi and Alan Oppenheimer), Batman, Mannix (with Barry Atwater, Michael Bell, Paul Carr, and Kenneth Tobey), Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show, Fantasy Island (starring Ricardo Montalban), Dallas, Quincy, M.E., The Dukes of Hazzard, and Knots Landing. He was also the voice of Inferno in the original Transformers cartoon.
Edmiston also voiced the character of “nice guy” Tom Riley and several other characters on the long-running radio series Adventures in Odyssey. He had been with the show since its first episode in 1987. His work on the program came to a sad end, however, when he died of complications from cancer in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 82.
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