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Alan Young dead: Mister Ed star dies at 96

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Alan Young, who starred as Wilbur Post on the 1960s CBS hit Mister Ed, died Thursday at the age of 96, his representatives confirmed to EW.

Young, who played the two-legged counterpart to the talking palomino before later lending his voice to animated series and video games, died at the Motion Picture and Television Home, a retirement home for members of the film and TV industry in Woodland Hills, California.

Born on November 19, 1919 in North Shields, England, Young moved to Canada at a young age. During his childhood, he suffered from severe asthma, which kept him bedridden but also fostered his appreciation for radio. By the age of 13 he was performing on radio, and by 17 he was running his own show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The Alan Young Show aired in the U.S. in 1944, when Young was living in New York. The show later made the jump to television, debuting on CBS as a variety and sketch show in 1950. It ran for three years and won an Emmy for best variety show and earned Young an Emmy for best actor.

Of course, Young was best known for his role as Wilbur Post, the sole confidant of a talking horse, in Mister Ed, which ran from 1961 to 1966. “We were buddies,” Young said of his equine costar in a 1986 interview with The Los Angeles Times. “He loved me, and I loved him, and I never get tired of talking about him.”

He racked up dozens of credits in TV and film, with notable movie roles including Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), Androcles and the Lion (1952), and The Time Machine (1960). He also served as the voice of Scrooge McDuck for several Disney shorts and television series, including DuckTales, and reprised the role for the video games Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010) and DuckTales: Remastered (2013).

Young is survived by 4 children. 

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