Walker Edmiston, Keebler elf voice actor, dies


Walker Edmiston, an actor who was the voice of many cartoon and puppet characters, including Ernie the Keebler elf in TV commercials, has died. He was 81.

Edmiston died of complications from cancer on Feb. 15 at his home in Woodland Hills, said his daughter, Erin Edmiston.

He worked up until becoming ill in January, she said.

Edmiston was born Feb. 6, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., and moved to Los Angeles in 1947.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Edmiston had a children's show on local television. "The Walker Edmiston Show" featured his own puppets, including Kingsley the Lion and Ravenswood the Buzzard.

In the 1960s and 1970s, he voiced many characters on shows created by Sid and Marty Krofft, including Dr. Blinkey and Orson the Vulture on "H.R. Pufnstuf" and Sparky the Firefly on "Bugaloos."

"Walker was one of the most talented voice people in town," Marty Krofft said.

Edmiston also had acting roles in episodes of such TV series as "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," and performed for nearly 20 years on "Adventures in Odyssey," a radio series produced by the nonprofit group Focus on the Family.

He is survived by his daughter.