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 and had a movie/silver screen career that spanned 42 years - from 1946 to 1988. Hal's Television career spanned 34 years from 1952 to 1986. His animated TV career spanned from 1959 to 1993. His animated films spanned 1960 to 1991. He is possibly best known for his role as Otis Campbell in the Andy Griffith Show.

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. Hal voiced Owl for the Disney Winnie The Pooh from 1966 to 1994. He did a host of other voices from Winnie The Pooh. Hal even voiced the horse "Philippe" in the 1991 Beauty and the Beast! Including characters for Huckleberry Hound, Davey and Goliath, The Flintstones, the Jetsons, Elmer Fudd, and countless others.

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.

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