Hal Smith

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Hal Smith
Episode Characters Played 61
Episode Appearances 270
Video Characters Played 1
Video Appearances 6
Podcast Appearances 2

Voice of John Avery Whittaker, 1987-1994


Hal Smith (1916-1994) was the first voice of John Avery Whittaker through 1994. He also was the voice of dozens of minor characters during the time he was on the show. He first began working with Focus on the Family in 1984 on several radio dramas. Before that time, he was a well known actor, providing the voices for many cartoon characters.

Katie Leigh, Walker Edmiston and Will Ryan had all worked with Hal Smith before the start of Adventures in Odyssey in 1987, and the fact that Hal Smith was playing the lead character was one of the primary reasons that they each decided to join the show. Edmiston would later recount that on recording days for AIO, he and Hal would arrange to meet at a local McDonald's near the recording studio in Pomona to have breakfast with each other beforehand.


Hal Smith's health began deteriorating through the early 90s; his wife died during the recording of The Mortal Coil (November 21 & 28,1992) but he continued to record episodes for two more years. Initially, the plan was for Whit to die in the episodes for The Mortal Coil (November 21 & 28,1992). These episodes were recorded to explain Whit's death, but this decision was later reversed and the episode was changed so that Whit didn't die after all.

Shortly before Hal's death, he said in a interview that — out of his entire career — he was most proud of his role in Adventures In Odyssey as John Avery Whittaker. Two days before "Aloha, Oy!, Part 2" (from AIO - 19: Passport To Adventure) aired, Hal Smith died on January 27, 1994.

After much discussion it was decided to take Whit on a trip until they found a voice like Hal Smith's. The AIO writers sent Whit off to the Holy Land to "broaden his horizons" because of a conversation Whit had with Eugene. So, Whit became a part of a team of archaeologists in the Middle East. Any and all AIO Episodes with Whit talking in them for the next 2 years (up until May 18, 1996) would be "Cut and pasted" in to the story-lines using previous, old recordings from Hal Smith.


Hal Smith played many Disney Characters -- Goofy and Muskrat from "Wind In the Willows" among others. In 1978, He even narrated the Disney Read-Along Christmas Show "SMALL ONE" (about the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem). Hal Smith also starred in "Mickey's Christmas Carol" in 1983 where he played many of the voices including Goofy - and - acting along side many of the future AIO characters - including Will Ryan and Alan Young.

Hal also played Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show.

Characters Played

Acting (270) · Characters (61) · Video Acting (6) · Video Characters (1) · Podcasts (2)

Click one of the above tabs to see what Hal Smith has done on Adventures in Odyssey.
Hal Smith has acted in 270 episodes with an average rating of 89%
Hal Smith has voiced 1 character
Hal Smith has appeared in 2 podcasts


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