Alan Young was an actor who achieved enduring fame as the human companion of the titular talking horse in the television comedy Mr. Ed. On the show, which aired on CBS from 1961 to 1966, Young played Wilbur Post, a suburban architect who owned Ed, a mischievous horse voiced by actor Allan "Rocky" Lane. After the series ended, Young continued to work in television on camera, and he became a prolific voice-over performer in animated films and television series.
Born in England, Young moved with his family to Edinburgh when he was a toddler and settled in Canada in early childhood. He got his start in radio at age 13 and became a writer and a performer on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show at 17.
He had a successful radio program, The Alan Young Show, in the 1940s, which he brought to televison in 1950. In 1951 the program won an Emmy Award for best variety show and Young was named best actor. It ended its run in 1953.
When the show ended he continued to work in television as a guest performer on scripted series such as Death Valley Days, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Coach and ER. He also appeared on many variety series, including those hosted by Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan and Dinah Shore.
In addition to his on-camera work, Young remained busy into his nineties lending his voice to animated productions, including the film The Great Mouse Detective and television series DuckTales, House of Mouse, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, Alvin & the Chipmunks, The Smurfs and The Ren and Stimpy Show.
His feature film credits included Margie, Tom Thumb, Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick, The Time Machine, Beverly Hills Cop III and Em and Me.
He reflected on his career in the memoirs Mister Ed and Me (with Bill Burt) in 1995 and There’s No Business Like Show Business ... Was in 2006.
Young died May 19, 2016, in Woodland Hills, California. He was 96.