Alan Young, 96, who played Wilbur on the baby-boomer kid favorite sitcom “Mister Ed,” has died, according to a number of media outlets.
He died at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Calif., says People magazine, adding, “Young died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes, surrounded by his adult children, according to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which announced his passing.”
“’Mister Ed’ had actually premiered as a syndicated series,” notes the authoritative “Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows” by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh. “It was one of the few series to begin in syndication and then be picked up by a network for its primetime lineup.”
It was CBS that picked up the show. It ran from 1961-1966. For the 1965-1966 season CBS aired it at 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, according to Brooks and Marsh.
Says People, “Young was born in England in 1919 and grew up in Scotland and Canada. During his long career, he earned an Emmy for his talk show ‘The Alan Young Show’ in 1950 and voiced Scrooge McDuck on the cartoon series ‘DuckTales’ (1987–90). He also had roles on the big screen in ‘tom thumb’ (1958), ‘The Time Machine’ (1960) and ‘Beverly Hills Cop III’ (1994).
Here’s the opening of “Mister Ed,” with its classic theme song: