Alan Young

Alan Young

Highest Rated: 100% Tom Thumb (1958)

Lowest Rated: 29% The Time Machine (2002)

Birthday: Nov 19, 1919

Birthplace: North Shields, Tyne-and-Wear, England, UK

An amiable comedy player of radio, film and television, Alan Young won an Emmy starring in his own CBS show in the early 1950s, but will forever be remembered as Wilbur Post, the quiet, married fellow whose confidant and best buddy was a talking horse named "Mr. Ed" (1961-65). Young was born in the North Country of England, but moved to Canada with his family when he was seven years old. By age 13, he was performing comedy monologues on stage and spent most of the 30s and early 40s on radio, both in Canada and the US. After serving in the Canadian Navy during World War II, Young migrated to Hollywood, where he made his feature film debut in "Margie" (1946), in which he was a teenager in the Roaring 20s. Supporting roles in "Chicken Every Sunday" and "Mr. Belvedere Goes to College" (both 1949) did not raise his screen profile, so, in 1950, he turned to TV with "The Alan Young Show" (CBS), in which he performed a monologue, sang a song or two, and became involved in a lightly handled predicament or problem--not dissimilar from the formats of other comedians like Jack Benny and Burns and Allen. When Young won his Emmy, there was a slight controversy. At the time, there was only one performance category for actors, with variety performers, comic actors and tragedians all mixed together. Young was so heralded that year, he even topped Jose Ferrer, much to the consternation of those who felt (and feel) that drama was more prestigious. His small screen success meant another shot at feature films. Young was cast as a country bumpkin courting Dinah Shore in "Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick" (1952), a box office and critical disaster--even Dinah Shore would later credit it with ruining any chances of a screen career for herself. Yet, Young bounced back with the title role in "Androcles and the Lion" (1953), which also failed to attract audiences. In the summer of 1954, Young hosted "Saturday Night Revue," a replacement series for the vacationing "Your Show of Shows" on NBC. For the remainder of the 50s, Young made guest appearances on TV series. He did have one screen success playing Woody the Piper in the well-received children's film "Tom Thumb" (1958). While his career seemed to be stalled, in 1960 he was asked to step in and replace the original lead in the series "The Wonderful World of Wilbur Post." Producers had felt there was no chemistry between the first actor and his co-star, a palomino horse. Perhaps the horse had a better agent because when the series went on the air in January 1961, the series was called "Mr. Ed," despite Young's star billing. Young and the horse worked well together. The premise of the show owed much to the successful Francis the talking mule films: the palomino Ed would only talk to Wilbur and he was sassy, irascible, and did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it--usually necessitating the Wilbur help him to get him out of a jam. The show premiered as a syndicated series before moving to CBS in October 1961, one of the few instances in TV history of a show going from syndication to a network. It ran as a ratings favorite until 1965. One would expect that Young would have had his pick of work, but he chose instead to work for his beloved Christian Science Church, heading its film and broadcasting department. He severed most ties with Hollywood, rarely being heard from or about. Yet, occasionally, he would make an appearance back in front of the cameras, such as in "Baker's Hawk" (1976) and Disney's "The Cat From Outer Space" (1978). Young even showed up on "The Love Boat" in 1983 and "Murder, She Wrote" in 1986. He even had a short-term role on ABC's popular soap opera "General Hospital." Additionally, Young began a secondary career as a voice actor. He was the kidnapped toymaker Flaversham, complete with Scottish brogue in "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) and Scrooge McDuck in both "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983) and "Ducktales: The Movie" (1990). Young also could be heard on Saturday mornings in "Scruffy," "The Smurfs" and other series. He briefly returned to series TV with the unsuccessful sitcom "Coming of Age" (CBS, 1988-89), about the residents of a retirement community. In 1994, Young made a return to feature films playing Uncle Dave, the character whose theme park and life Eddie Murphy must save in "Beverly Hills Cop III" and that same year appeared with Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner in the NBC reunion telefilm "Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is." His final screen role of note came in the family film "Em and Me" (2004). Alan Young died of unspecified natural causes at his home in Woodland Hills, California on May 19, 2016. He was 96.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Last First Comic Self - 2010
No Score Yet 62% Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Uncle Scrooge McDuck (Voice) - 2004
29% 37% The Time Machine Flower Store Worker (Character) $56.7M 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet Em & Me Grandfather (Character) - 2001
40% 66% Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Uncle Scrooge McDuck (Voice) - 1999
No Score Yet 66% Beverly Hills Cop III Uncle Dave Thornton (Character) $41.5M 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is Charley Loomis (Character) - 1994
88% 69% DuckTales, the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Scrooge McDuck (Voice) $18.1M 1990
80% 79% The Great Mouse Detective Hiram Flaversham (Voice) $37.3M 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alice Through the Looking Glass Unknown (Character) - 1985
100% 90% Mickey's Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) (Voice) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Gift of the Magi Unknown (Character) - 1978
67% 59% The Cat From Outer Space Dr. Wenger (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet 50% Baker's Hawk Paul Carson (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 100% Mister Ed - Barnyard Favorites Unknown (Character) - 1961
76% 79% The Time Machine David Filby/James Filby (Character) - 1960
100% 63% Tom Thumb Woody (Character) - 1958
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gentlemen Marry Brunettes Charlie Biddle/Mrs. Biddle/Mr. Henry Biddle (Character) - 1955
No Score Yet No Score Yet Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick Aaron Slick (Character) - 1952
43% 50% Androcles and the Lion Androcles (Character) - 1952
No Score Yet 57% Chicken Every Sunday Geoffrey Lawson (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Avery Brubaker (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet 79% Margie Roy Hornsdale (Character) - 1946

TV

Credit
55% No Score Yet God, the Devil and Bob Unknown (Guest Voice) 2001
No Score Yet 80% ER Archie Mellonston (Guest Star) 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet Promised Land Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
No Score Yet 75% Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Unknown (Guest Star) 1997
No Score Yet 98% The Ren & Stimpy Show Haggis MacHaggis (Guest Voice) 1994-1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wayans Bros. Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Maybe This Time Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Coach Unknown (Guest Star) 1993
No Score Yet 96% DuckTales Scrooge McDuck (Voice) 1987-1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Coming of Age Unknown (Character) 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet 60% Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Mr. Frump (Guest Voice) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mister Ed Wilbur Post (Character) 1961-1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet Death Valley Days John Stetson (Character) 1962
No Score Yet No Score Yet Startime Unknown (Character) 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Studio One Unknown (Character) 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet Screen Directors Playhouse Unknown (Character) 1955

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