Alan Young

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For other people named Alan Young, see Alan Young (disambiguation).
Alan Young
Alan Young circa 1944.JPG
Young in 1944
Born Angus Young
(1919-11-19)November 19, 1919
North Shields, Northumberland, England, UK
Died May 19, 2016(2016-05-19) (aged 96)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Natural causes
Occupation Actor, voice actor, comedian, radio host, television host, personality
Years active 1939–2016
Agent TGMD Talent Agency
Known for Wilbur Post in Mister Ed
The voice of Scrooge McDuck
  • Mary Anne Grimes
    (m. 1941; div. 1947)
  • Virginia McCurdy
    (m. 1948; div. 1995)
  • Mary Chipman
    (m. 1996; div. 1997)
Children With Grimes:
With McCurdy:
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actor

Alan Young (born Angus Young; November 19, 1919 – May 19, 2016) was an English-born Canadian-American actor, voice actor, comedian, radio and television host, and personality, whom TV Guide called "The Charlie Chaplin of Television". He was best known for his role as naive Wilbur Post in the television comedy series Mister Ed and as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in Disney films, TV series and video games. During the 1940s and 1950s, he starred in his own variety/comedy sketch shows The Alan Young Show on radio and television, the latter gaining him two Emmy Awards in 1951. He also appeared in a number of feature films, starting from 1946, including the 1960 film The Time Machine and from the 1980s gaining a new generation of viewers appearing in numerous Walt Disney Productions films as both an actor and voice actor.

Early life[edit]

Young was born as Angus Young on November 19, 1919, in North Shields, Northumberland, England, to Scottish parents. (In his later years he claimed he had been born in 1924.) His father was a mine worker and a tap dancer, and his mother was a singer. The family moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, when Young was a toddler and to West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when he was six years old. Young came to love radio when bedridden as a child because of severe asthma.[1][2]

By the time he was in high school, Young had his own comedy radio series on the CBC network, but he left it during World War II to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy.[1][3][4] He later resigned his Navy commission after learning he would be spending his time writing for a Navy show, and he attempted to join the Canadian Army. According to some sources, the Army rejected him due to his childhood asthma.[5]


After leaving the service, Young moved to Toronto and resumed his Canadian radio career, where he was discovered by an American agent who brought him to New York City in 1944 to appear on American radio.[1] Young's first American radio appearances were on the Philco Radio Hall of Fame. This led to his own show, The Alan Young Show, NBC's summer replacement for the series The Eddie Cantor Show.[1] He switched to ABC two years later, then returned to NBC.[6]

Young's film debut was in Margie (1946), and he was featured in Chicken Every Sunday (1949).[7] In 1950, the television version of The Alan Young Show began. By 1951, the series received not only praise, but also several Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Actor and Most Outstanding Personality for Young.[8] After its cancellation, Young continued to act in films, among which Androcles and the Lion (1952) and Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955), and two George Pal films, tom thumb (1958) and The Time Machine (1960). He appeared in the NBC espionage drama Five Fingers ("Thin Ice", 1959), starring David Hedison.[9]

Young was best known, however, for Mister Ed (1961–66), a CBS television show, in which he starred as Wilbur Post, the owner of Mr. Ed, a talking horse that would talk to no one but him, thus causing comic situations for Wilbur Post with his wife, neighbors, and acquaintances.[10] He also starred as Stanley Beamish in the unaired 1966 pilot episode of Mr. Terrific, but apparently declined to appear in the broadcast series in 1967 that followed. In the late 1960s, he retired from acting for several years. During that time, he founded a broadcast division for the Christian Science Church.[11]

During the 1970s, Young became active in voice acting. After 1974, he voiced Scrooge McDuck in numerous Disney films and in the popular series DuckTales (1987-1990). In Mickey's Christmas Carol, he portrayed the character's miserly namesake. He also played Scrooge in video games such as the Kingdom Hearts series, DuckTales: Remastered in 2013, and the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Goofy's First Love" released in 2015. Apart from Scrooge McDuck, his other prominent roles were Farmer Smurf on The Smurfs, 7-Zark-7, Keyop in Battle of the Planets, and Hiram Flaversham in The Great Mouse Detective. He also guest starred on The Love Boat, The Incredible Hulk, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.[citation needed]

In 1991, Alan Young returned to the stage, starring as Cap'n Andy Hawkes in The California Music Theatre's adaptation of Show Boat. He had been called for the role after Van Johnson, who was initially cast in the part, was hospitalised.[12] He had also appeared in the plays A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Girl With the Freudian Slip. In 1993, he recreated his role as Filby for the mini-sequel to George Pal's The Time Machine, reuniting him with Rod Taylor, who had played George, the Time Traveller. It was called Time Machine: The Journey Back, directed by Clyde Lucas. In 1994, Young co-starred in the Eddie Murphy film Beverly Hills Cop III. He played the role of Uncle Dave Thornton, the Walt Disney-esque founder of the fictional California theme park Wonderworld, and in that same year, Young played the role of Charlie in the television movie, Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is.[citation needed]

After 1994, he played at least eight characters, including antique dealer Jack Allen on the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. In 1997, he did the voice of Haggis McMutton in the PC game The Curse of Monkey Island. His later guest roles in animated series included Megas XLR, Static Shock, House of Mouse, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Duckman, Batman: The Animated Series, and TaleSpin.[13] In 2002, he had a cameo as the flower store worker in Simon Wells' remake of The Time Machine, and in 2010, he read H.G. Wells's original novel for 7th Voyage Productions, Inc. Young's television guest roles include Gibbsville, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, St. Elsewhere, Coach, Party of Five, The Wayans Bros., USA High, Hang Time, ER, Maybe It's Me, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch ("Sweet Charity", 1997) in which he played Zelda's love interest.[citation needed]

Personal life and death[edit]

Young was married three times.[14] He and Mary Anne Grimes were married from 1941 to 1947 and had two children. He married Virginia McCurdy in 1948, and they had two children. They divorced in 1995, with Young marrying Mary Chipman the following year, but Young and Chipman then divorced in 1997.[15] Young later lived in Woodland Hills, California, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, a retirement community, where he died of natural causes on May 19, 2016, at the age of 96.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1939 Stag Party Himself
1940–1944 The Alan Young Show Alan Canadian version
1944–1949 The Alan Young Show Alan U.S. version
1945 The Old Gold Comedy Theater
Known also as The Harold Lloyd Theater
Bob Bennett "Nothing but the Truth"[16]
1947 Hedda Hopper's This Is Hollywood Roy Hornsdale "Margie"
1947–1948 Texaco Star Theater Himself
1948–1949 The Jimmy Durante Show Co-host
1949–1950 Family Theater Johnny the Leprechaun, Donald "The Leprechaun Who Didn't Listen"
"The Lion Tamer"
"My Terminal Moraine"
1950 The Jack Benny Program Himself
1952 Hollywood Star Playhouse Ernie "Nor Gloom of Night"
1979 Sears Radio Theater Harry Silverman, Otto Glitch, Steve "The Care and Feeding of a Sex Symbol"
"The Terrible Dream of Mr. Glitch"
"A Very Nice Couple"
1994–2012 Adventures in Odyssey Jack Allen


Year Title Role Notes
1946 Margie Roy Hornsdale
1949 Chicken Every Sunday Geoffrey Lawson
1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Avery Brubaker
1952 Androcles and the Lion Androcles
1952 Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick Aaron Slick
1955 Gentlemen Marry Brunettes Charlie Biddle, Mrs. Biddle, Mr. Henry Biddle
1958 Tom Thumb Woody
1960 The Time Machine David Filby, James Filby
1976 Baker's Hawk Paul Carson
1978 The Cat from Outer Space Doctor Winger
1983 Mickey's Christmas Carol Scrooge McDuck (voice) Animated short
1985 The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal Himself Documentary
1986 The Great Mouse Detective Hiram Flaversham (voice) Animated film
1987 Alice Through the Looking Glass White Knight (voice) Animated film
1990 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Scrooge McDuck (voice) Animated film
1993 Time Machine: The Journey Back Filby "Time Machine: The Journey Back"
1993 Disney Sing-Along Songs Scrooge McDuck (voice) "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
1994 Beverly Hills Cop III Dave Thornton
1996 The Flintstones Christmas in Bedrock Additional voices
1999 Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Scrooge McDuck (voice) Direct-to-video film
2002 The Time Machine Flower Store Worker
2004 Em & Me Grandfather San Diego Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Monaco International Festival Best Actor Award
2004 Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Scrooge McDuck (voice) Direct-to-video film

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1950–1953 The Alan Young Show Alan Television version
Lead Role
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1951)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy for Most Outstanding Personality (1951)
1954 General Electric Theater Alan Parker "Wild Luke's Boy"
1955 Screen Director's Playhouse Ernest Stockhoeffer/Vernon Hathaway "The Life of Vernon Hathaway"
1955–1956 Studio One George Abernathy, Timothy "The Man Who Caught The Ball at Coogan's Bluff"
"This Will Do Nicely"
1956 Chevron Hall of Stars Robinson "I Killed John Harrington"
1956 Matinee Theatre "Ask Me No Questions"
1956 Studio 57 Hector Tutwilder "Swing Your Partner, Hector"
1956–1958 The Steve Allen Show Himself 5 episodes
1958 Alan Young (TV series) Alan 3 episodes
1959 Five Fingers Carl "Thin Ice"
1959 Encounter Wilbur Bowser "The Last of the Hot Pilots"
1960 Startime Clarence "Tennessee Ernie Ford Meets King Arthur"
1961–1966 Mister Ed Wilbur Post Lead Role
143 episodes
1962 Death Valley Days John Batterson Stetson "The Hat That Won the West"
1966 Mr. Terrific Stanley Beamish TV pilot
1976 Gibbsville Kanzler "Saturday Night"
1978–1980 Battle of the Planets 7-Zark-7, Keyop English dub
1978, 1983 The Love Boat Ross, Phil Sharp 2 episodes
1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Mr. Frump (voice) "The Fantastic Mr. Frump"
1982 The Incredible Hulk Cyclops (voice) "The Cyclops Project"
1982–1989 The Smurfs Farmer Smurf (voice)
Miner Smurf (voice)
Scaredy Smurf (voice)
49 episodes
1983 Alvin and the Chipmunks Grandpa Seville (voice) "Grandpa and Grandma Seville"
1983 The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show Gaggy Rogers (voice) "Wedding Bell Boos!"
1984 Robo Force S.O.T.A. TV Movie
1984 Down to Earth Alistar Coogan "Everything Old Is New Again"
1986 Murder She Wrote Floyd Nelson "Keep the Home Fries Burning"
1987 St. Elsewhere Knox "A Coupla White Dummies Sitting Around Talking"
1987–1990 DuckTales Scrooge McDuck (voice) Lead Role
100 episodes
1988–1989 Coming of Age Ed Pepper 15 episodes
1990 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Scrooge McDuck (voice) "A DuckTales Valentine"
1990 TaleSpin Doctor Cooper (voice) "The Old Man and the Sea Duck"
1990 City Donald "Just a Passing Dad"
1991 Earth Angel Norman TV movie
1992 Raw Toonage Scrooge McDuck (voice) "The Treasure of The Sierra Marsdre"
1993 Doogie Howser, M.D. Doctor Emmitt Randall "Eleven Angry People...and Vinnie"
1993 Coach Ranger Farley "One for the Road"
1993 A Flintstone Family Christmas Mr. Gravelberry (voice) TV Movie
1994 Batman: The Animated Series Tod Baker (voice) "Baby-Doll"
1994 Party of Five Jack Gordon "Homework"
1994 Hart to Hart Charlie Loomis "Home Is Where The Hart Is"
1994–1995 The Ren & Stimpy Show Haggis McHaggis (voice) 4 episodes
1995 Duckman Wilbur Nelson (voice) "America the Beautiful"
1995 Maybe This Time Arthur "Gracie Under Fire"
1995 The Wayans Bros. Reverend Benton "Loot"
1997 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Mr. Berry "Sweet Charity"
1997 USA High Mr. Phipps "Goodbye, Mr. Phipps"
1998 Kelly Kelly Great Uncle Billy "The Kilt Show"
1998 The Tony Danza Show Doctor Harris "Mini-pause"
1999 Mickey Mouse Works Scrooge McDuck (voice) 2 episodes
2000 Rude Awakening Priest "Truth Don't Fail Me Now"
2000 Hang Time Mr. McHenry "That '60s Show"
2000 ER Archie Mellonston "Benton Backwards"
2001 God, the Devil and Bob Wilbur Post (voice) "God's Girlfriend"
2001 FreakyLinks Henry "Subject: Sunrise at Sunset Streams"
2001 Maybe It's Me Abe Lasky "The Hair Episode"
2002 House of Mouse Scrooge McDuck (voice) 3 episodes
2004 Static Shock Dr. McDonald "Now You See Him"
2004 Megas XLR Jax (voice) 2 episodes
2015–2016 Mickey Mouse Scrooge McDuck (voice) "Goofy's First Love"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
1997 The Curse of Monkey Island Haggis McMutton
2008 Disney Think Fast Scrooge McDuck
2009 Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Scrooge McDuck
2013 Disney Magical World Scrooge McDuck
2013 DuckTales: Remastered Scrooge McDuck


  1. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mike; Byrnes, Duane (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young, Two-Legged Star of 'Mister Ed,' Dies at 96". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young, Actor Who Played Willllburrrrr on 'Mister Ed,' Dies at 96". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ Elbur, Lynn (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young, Star of 1960s sitcom 'Mr. Ed,' Dies at 96". Associated Press. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 368. ISBN 1-84854-195-3. 
  5. ^ Dunham, Will (May 20, 2016). "Actor Alan Young, Human Star of Horse Sitcom 'Mister Ed,' Dies at 96". Reuters. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  6. ^ On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio John Dunning; Oxford University Press, USA, pp20-21
  7. ^ Thomas, Bob (June 10, 1959). "Comic Alan Young Critical of TV". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 
  8. ^ "Nominations Search". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  9. ^ There's No Business Like Show Business...Was Alan Young; BearManor Media, Jul 5, 2006 , multiple mentions
  10. ^ "Alan Young In Mister Ed". The Gettysburg Times. March 18, 1961. Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. ^ TV Guide 1974 page 36 "Well, he's come back to Hollywood after spending the past six years as a Christian Science lecturer in Boston and other parts of the country. "I set up a film and broadcasting department for the mother church in Boston," Young said"
  12. ^ Sylvie Drake (September 16, 1991). "Stage: 'Show Boat' Afloat Without Its Star". Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. ^ Alan Young's voiceography. Behind the Voice – check mark indicates BTVA has verified the entries using screenshots of credits and other confirmed sources.
  14. ^ a b T. Rees Shapiro (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young, actor who played Willllburrrrr on 'Mister Ed,' dies at 96". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ Reuters (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young dead; 'Mister Ed' star was 96". AM New York. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Radio's Golden Age". Nostalgia Digest. 40 (1): 40–41. Winter 2014. 

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