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Will Ryan, Beloved Voice of Eugene Meltsner, Has Died

Actor Will Ryan, voice of Eugene Meltsner and dozens of other characters on Adventures in Odyssey , died on Friday, November 19, 2021. Ryan,...

Actor Will Ryan, voice of Eugene Meltsner and dozens of other characters on Adventures in Odyssey, died on Friday, November 19, 2021. Ryan, who faced a short battle with cancer, was 72.

Will Ryan performing at an event in Peoria, AZ in 2016

Many of you had already heard the news of Will's passing and the AIO fan community has been sharing an outpouring of love for Will and prayers for his family and fellow AIO cast members. The Odyssey team posted an official statement with some beautiful sentiments from both current and past crew members. Also in the statement, they said that "discussions about the future of the character of Eugene Meltsner are ongoing" but they are not ready to make any public announcement at this time.

Earlier in 2021, Will Ryan had worked on an episode of Skyship Dreamer, a children's show from Abide. The episode, titled "The Ant and the Grasshopper," was written and directed by John Fornof who said of Will, "He was a delight, a joy, and a true pro with a caring heart for people. I'll miss his wry and quick humor, the spontaneous delight of his ukulele songs, and his sense of wonder and fun." (Listen to The Ant and the Grasshopper here.)

Will Ryan, Roy, JD, and Katie Leigh record ATC 146.

Aside from his work in audio drama, Will Ryan was a sought-after voice for Disney and other animation studios. He was also a prolific songwriter and performed with his band, Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys. He also performed with The Saguaro Sisters, a trio made up of actress Shona Rodman (Jules Kendall on AIO), her mother Karen (Meryl Uziah on Job: A Modern Man), and her sister Katriona, who collectively appeared on the AIO episode "Legacy" as the Westcotts.

I was fortunate to have met Will in person and to interact with him via email and video call on multiple occasions. He was an absolutely delightful human being and I'm grateful to have known him. He will be greatly missed by me, the rest of the ATC team, and the Odyssey fan community.

In recent days, Katie Leigh, Will's long-time close friend, co-star on Adventures in Odyssey, and co-creator of the webshow and podcast Tell Ya Later, recorded a final audio message from Will. It was shared on the Tell Ya Later Facebook page on November 21st. 

In Will's own words, we say, "Adios, amigo."


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J.D. Sutter is the host and producer of the Audio Theatre Central podcast and editor of the blog. A lifelong fan of audio drama, he is an industry critic who has guest lectured and spoken at conferences on the subject. J.D. is also a voiceover artist, podcast consultant, and chair of the ATC Seneca Awards, the annual awards for the family-friendly audio drama industry.


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