Everyone's Friend, Will Ryan

The life, works, and passing of Will Ryan…he "will" be missed


On the evening of November 19th, 2021, it was announced that long-time Adventures in Odyssey actor Will Ryan had passed away after a short illness.

Known for playing many roles on the show over the entirety of the series—including Harlow Doyle, Guy, Officer O'Ryan, and over 100 others—but most well known and most-loved by fans as Eugene Meltsner.

It has not yet been decided or announced what will happen to the character of Eugene. Will Ryan recorded many episodes before his death, so listeners can expect to hear Eugene in Odyssey throughout 2022.

Explore this page to learn more about this topic

Last Updated November 12, 2023

Top Posts

  • Farewell to our friend Will Ryan

    Adventures in Odyssey team responds to the passing of Will Ryan, voice of Eugene Meltsner.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO— Today we learned that our dear friend Will Ryan passed away after a short illness. Will acted on the Adventures in Odyssey audio program since 1987. He played more than 150 characters across more than 400 episodes but was most well-known as the lovable genius Eugene Meltsner. Will was 72 years old.

    Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Will became involved in many aspects of the entertainment industry in California, especially voice acting where he’s known as Petrie from The Land Before Time, Willie the Giant in Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and Rabbit in several Winnie the Pooh cartoons. Throughout his thirty-five year involvement with Adventures in Odyssey, Will worked with other voice actor friends… Continue Reading →

    🔗 From Adventures in Odyssey
  • Farewell to our friend Will Ryan

    “Greetings and salutations!” has been heard all over the world by Adventures in Odyssey listeners, the familiar and unique way in which Eugene Meltsner introduces himself throughout the series. For over 33 years, countless people have experienced the many adventures of Eugene Meltsner, his quirky way of communicating that often confuses his audience, and the many laughs and memorable moments.

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Will Ryan, voice of Eugene Meltsner. Will was 72 years old. Focus on the Family recently released a statement regarding Will Ryan’s passing, which you can read here.

    Will Ryan first appears in the second episode The Life of the Party as Bill Moorhead. He made his official debut as Eugene Meltsner in the episode Connie, in which he begins working at Whit’s End during Connie Kendall’s brief departure… Continue Reading →

    🔗 From The Odyssey Scoop

Articles, Posts, & More

  • What is the future of Eugene Meltsner?

    Showrunner Marshal Younger, writer/director Kathy Buchanan, executive producer Dave Arnold, writer/director Phil Lollar, and line producer Nathan Hoobler answer your questions, like: Will Eugene and Katrina ever adopt Buck? When is the next time we’ll see Emily, Morrie, and Suzu? How often are… Continue Reading →

  • A Message from Will Ryan

    Earlier today a video was posted to the Facebook page of Katie Leigh and Will Ryan’s hit YouTube show/podcast “Tell Ya Later“. In it, Will Ryan shares a reassuring message with fans about the future of their project, including some of his trademark humour and positivity. The video is includ

    🔗 From Odyssey Central

  • Eugene Meltsner and Tom Riley Reunite in Heaven

    HEAVEN- Today Eugene Meltsner and Tom Riley reunited in Heaven. Tom passed away years ago, and they met again for a joyous reunion. Eugene greeted Tom with “Greeting and salutation my dear companion!” It has been far too long since we last interacted.” Tom, ignoring the flowery nonsense, em

    🔗 From AIO Writer's Block

  • Goodbye, Will Ryan

    I just found out that Will Ryan has recently passed away. His death will affect many people, but of course it will mostly affect his family and friends. Right now the best thing we can do is pray for his family as they mourn their loss. I never had the privilege of knowing him, but those who did kno

    🔗 From Adventures in Opinions

Podcast Episodes


  • The Wondrous Will Ryan 1949-2021

    Many cartoon fans appreciate Jack Benny’s classic feature The Horn Blows at Midnight for its uncredited music by Carl Stalling. Among its other memorable sequences is its vision of a heavenly orchestra where Jack Benny is one of the musicians.

    Will Ryan has just arrived there. He’s strumming his ever-present ukulele only a few seats from Jack, looking around with joy at his great location.

    Will already knows almost most of the musicians, singers and actors there. He met them years ago in person or learned all he could about them. Rather than drop names, he elevated them. He made people and things out to be more interesting than he was. Continue Reading →

    🔗 From Cartoon Research
  • Who the Heck is Will Ryan?


    No, that’s the sobriquet of the revered voice actor Mel Blanc. A Master. But Will Ryan has Mel’s piano (one of three in his Santa Monica home of 15 years), bought at auction, and while Blanc is now recording in the studio in the sky, Will is still with us and could yet zoom past “1000 voices.” Um — what day is it? But Ryan seems to also have 1000 other talents.

    He claims no mastery of piano but does compose songs there. But he can play almost anything with strings, favors the ukulele for its portability and modest profile, and can create a new song on the spot, music and words. Continue Reading →

    🔗 From Santa Monica Daily Press
  • Will Ryan, R.I.P.

    How I hated typing that subject line. My friend — everybody's friend, actually — Will Ryan died a few hours ago. The cause was Cancer. His Wikipedia page says he was born in 1939 which would make him 82 but I don't know anyone who knew Will who believes he was anywhere near that old. He was so full of energy and talent and he sure didn't look 82. He was also one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet.

    He was an actor, a historian, a voiceover specialist, a songwriter, a singer…in fact, he was a singing cowboy. There aren't many openings these days for singing cowboys but one day, Will decided he wanted to be one and danged if he didn't become one. He and his posse — the Cactus County Cowboys — could often be found at local theaters and nightclubs playing songs that sounded like they could have been from the days of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry but which were freshly written by Will. Continue Reading →

    🔗 From News From ME
  • Will Ryan, Voice Actor for ‘Adventures in Odyssey’ and Disney TV Shows, Has Died

    A top voice actor in dozens of films, Will Ryan became a core cast member of Adventures in Odyssey starting with the show’s second episode in 1987 — up to the present day.

    “Let me tell you: he still had his sense of humor in the hospital,” Katie Leigh said of her close friend Will Ryan, a voice actor known for his role in faith-based audio drama Adventures in Odyssey. Ryan died on November 19 following a short battle with cancer. He was 72.

    Leigh acted alongside Ryan for 37 years. “I’ve lost one of my best buddies to cancer,” said Leigh in a phone interview from Los Angeles. “We worked on a lot of stuff together, becoming like brother and sister.” Many said the same. Continue Reading →

    🔗 From The Stream



Will Ryan was well known for his music and improvisational diddys on his ever-handy ukulele. He had a band called "Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys" that would tour and play shows. They also released two albums.

Listen to and purchase Will Ryan's musical productions on bandcamp.