If you are a follower of Adventures in Odyssey, you will know the name Tom Riley. The voice actor who played him was Walker Edmiston (real name: Ed Walker). Edmiston and Hal Smith were the two main actors in the original season of Odyssey who’s characters are still around. Hal Smith played John Avery Whittaker. Smith died in 1994 and was replaced by an amazing vocal twin, Paul Herlinger.
Walker Edmiston died in February. I had learned of his death shortly after he had passed away. But, today I heard a great tribute to him and his voice talents by the Adventures in Odyssey crew. Let me encourage you to take 20 minutes and listen to it. Especially if you were familiar with the Tom Riley character.
What I found out in my reading on him and his life was that he was blind since boyhood. I did not see from what age, but some wording I saw made me think he was not born blind. I did not know that he was blind when I listened to the audio tribute. Knowing that makes one of the lines he says in the program very humorous.
Since they no longer podcast the Adventures in Odyssey (I am not sure they ever officially did), I have not listened to it in a while. I don’t know how they have handled his death, or if they have gotten to it yet. He had such a unique voice, I am not sure if they will be able to replace him like they did with Hal Smith.
Just some interesting reading about Walker Edmiston:
Article citing his death
An interview he did in 1974
Wikipedia entry on Walker Edmiston
Wikipedia entry on Ed Walker
3 thoughts on “Good-Bye Tom Riley”
I’m sorry to hear of the death of “Tom Riley”. I listen to Odyssey several days a week and have not heard of his death on the show. The audio tribute to him was very interesting. But where did you hear of his blindness. I did not read that anywhere.
OK, I kept reading and answered my own question.
I just had a friend from a very traditional church just text me about this !!!!! I grew up listening to AIO because I grew up without a TV in that church â€¦.. and it was my â€œTVâ€ growing up!!!! Iâ€™m sorry to hear this, I was touched by AIO every seasonâ€¦.. and the characters are just so believable and i love the fact that AIO is a radio drama in the USA and still distributed here in Australia in christian bookshops like Koorong, focus on the family is like a family and a business, and theyâ€™re still going after soooooooo many years!!!!! If he was blind I really have to give it to him, so many beautiful interesting people that were blind that made history, and did amazing things with their lifeâ€¦â€¦ i grew up with AIO so it is a special dramatisation that has changed and helped so many lives over the yearsâ€¦â€¦. much love to the Adventures in Odyssey teamâ€¦..