Alan Young had starred in a number of series spanning over decades.
Alan Young, a legendary comedic actor best known for his work in Mister Ed and Scrooge McDuck, has died. He was 96.
Young died of nature causes at the Motion Picture & Television Home, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Young was a veteran of radio and movies, and played the character Wilbur opposite of the famous talking horse in “Mister Ed,” a quirky Emmy-winning comedy in the early 1960s.
Comedian-producer George Burns had financed the original pilot of “Mister Ed,” but ended up replacing the original actor with Alan Young, noting that he looked “like the kind of guy a horse would talk to,” according to the report.
Young was also the star of his own Emmy Award-winning TV comedy variety show in the early 1950s, and his career was on the downswing when Burns reached out to him.
After Mister Ed, Young returned to acting by playing the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the 1983 animated short “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” He also voiced that character in Disney’s animated TV series “DuckTales.”
In addition, he did voice work in “The Smurfs,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and a number of other TV series.
Young was a longtime member of the Christian Science faith, and he had a prominant role in the organization, becoming communications director at their headquarters in Boston in 1968. He even spent time as a lecturer in the church between acting.
Young will always be predominantly remembered for Mister Ed. He recalled in his book one time walking into a crowded elevator and singing the first line of the theme song, and fellow passengers began to join in, according to the report.