Alan Young

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Alan Young
Alan Young circa 1944.JPG
Young in 1944
Angus Young

(1919-11-19)November 19, 1919
DiedMay 19, 2016(2016-05-19) (aged 96)
Years active19392016
Known for
  • Mary Anne Grimes
    (m. 1941;div. 1947)
  • Virginia McCurdy
    (m. 1948;div. 1995)
  • Mary Chipman
    (m. 1996;div. 1997)
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actor
Connie Hines and Alan Young in TV's Mister Ed Mister Ed main cast 2.JPG
Connie Hines and Alan Young in TV's Mister Ed

Alan Young (born Angus Young; November 19, 1919 – May 19, 2016) was a BritishAmerican actor, voice actor, comedian and radio and television host/personality whom TV Guide called "the Charlie Chaplin of television". He was best known for his role as gentle Wilbur Post in the television comedy series, Mister Ed (1961–1966). Young was also the voice of Disney's Scrooge McDuck for over thirty years, first in the Academy Award-nominated short film Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) and in various other films, TV series and video games until his death. 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.

British American usually refers to Americans whose ancestral origin originates wholly or partly in the United Kingdom. In the 2017 American Community Survey 1,891,234 individuals or 0.6% of the responses self-identified as British. It is primarily a demographic or historical research category for people who have at least partial descent from peoples of Great Britain and the modern United Kingdom, i.e. English, Scottish, Welsh, Scotch-Irish, Manx and Cornish Americans. There has been a significant drop overall, especially from the 1980 census where 49.59 million people reported English ancestry.

<i>TV Guide</i> American bi-weekly magazine

TV Guide is a bi-weekly American magazine that provides television program listings information as well as television-related news, celebrity interviews and gossip, film reviews, crossword puzzles, and, in some issues, horoscopes. The print magazine is owned by NTVB Media, while its digital properties are controlled by the CBS Interactive division of CBS Corporation; the TV Guide name and associated editorial content from the publication are licensed by CBS Interactive for use on the website and mobile app through an agreement with the magazine's parent subsidiary TVGM Holdings, Inc.

Charlie Chaplin British comic actor and filmmaker

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.


Alan Young with Olga San Juan Alan Young.jpg
Alan Young with Olga San Juan

Early life

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 the Second World War 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]

North Shields town in North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear in North East England

North Shields is a town on the north bank of the River Tyne in North East England, eight miles (13 km) north-east of Newcastle upon Tyne. Historically part of Northumberland, its name derives from Middle English schele meaning "temporary sheds or huts used by fishermen".

Northumberland County of England

Northumberland is a county in North East England. The northernmost county of England, it borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south and the Scottish Borders to the north. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a 64 miles (103 km) path. The county town is Alnwick, although the County council is based in Morpeth.

Scottish people ethnic inhabitants of Scotland

The Scottish people or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically, they emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Later, the neighbouring Celtic-speaking Cumbrians, as well as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Norse, were incorporated into the Scottish nation.


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]

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

The Alan Young Show is an American radio and television series presented in diverse formats over a nine-year period and starring Vancouver born comedian Alan Young.

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]

<i>Margie</i> (film) 1946 Henry King film directed by Henry King

Margie is a 1946 American romantic comedy film directed by Henry King and starring Jeanne Crain, about a high school girl in the 1920s who develops a crush on her French teacher. Margie was a box-office hit, ranking in the top 15 highest-grossing films of the year, and established Crain as an important Fox star. Although not a true movie musical, it is sometimes classified with musicals due to the large number of 1920s-era popular songs incorporated as nostalgic background in the film.

<i>Chicken Every Sunday</i> 1949 film by George Seaton

Chicken Every Sunday is a 1949 American comedy film directed by George Seaton. The screenplay by Seaton and Valentine Davies is based on the 1944 play of the same title by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein, which was based on the memoir by Rosemary Taylor.

The Primetime Emmy Award is an American award bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming. First given out in 1949, the award was originally referred to as simply the "Emmy Awards" until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremony was held in 1974 and the word "prime time" was added to distinguish between the two.

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 who would not talk to anyone 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]

<i>Mister Ed</i> television series

Mister Ed is an American television sitcom produced by Filmways which originally aired in syndication from January 5 to July 2, 1961, and then on CBS from October 1, 1961, to February 6, 1966. The show's title character – a talking horse – originally appeared in short stories by Walter R. Brooks.

Mr. Terrific is an American TV sitcom that aired on CBS Television from January 9 to August 28, 1967, Monday nights at 8 pm EST. Stephen Strimpell starred in the title role. A similar series on NBC, Captain Nice, also aired that season on Monday nights following Mr.Terrific at 8:30 pm.

Christian Science Set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements

Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. The book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold over nine million copies.

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 , Haggis McHaggis on The Ren & Stimpy Show , 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 . [12]

Scrooge McDuck Disney character, uncle of Donald Duck

Scrooge McDuck is a fictional character created in 1947 by Carl Barks as a work-for-hire for The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an elderly Scottish anthropomorphic Pekin duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats. He is portrayed in animations as speaking with a Scottish accent.

The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It is the world's largest independent media conglomerate in terms of revenue, ahead of NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, which are owned by telecommunications giants Comcast and AT&T respectively.

<i>DuckTales</i> American animated television series

DuckTales is an American animated television series, produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and distributed by Buena Vista Television. The cartoon series premiered on September 18, 1987, and ran for a total of 100 episodes over four seasons, with its final episode airing on November 28, 1990. Based upon Uncle Scrooge and other Duck universe comic books created by Carl Barks, the show follows Scrooge McDuck, his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and close friends of the group, on various adventures, most of which either involve seeking out treasure or thwarting the efforts of villains seeking to steal Scrooge's fortune or his Number One Dime.

Young later starred in the sitcom Coming of Age for two seasons from 1988-89. In 1991, Alan Young returned to the stage, starring as Cap'n Andy Hawkes in the California Musical 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. [13] 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 film, 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 . [14] 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

Young was married three times. [15] 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. [16]

Young was a Republican and supporter of Ronald Reagan. [17]

Young spent his later years 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. [15]



1939Stag PartyHimself
1940–1944The Alan Young ShowAlanCanadian version
1944–1949 The Alan Young Show AlanU.S. version
1945The Old Gold Comedy Theater
Known also as The Harold Lloyd Theatre
Bob Bennett"Nothing but the Truth" [18]
1947 Hedda Hopper's This Is HollywoodRoy Hornsdale"Margie"
1947–1948 Texaco Star Theatre Himself
1948–1949The Jimmy Durante ShowCo-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"
1994–2009, 2012 Adventures in Odyssey Jack Allen


1946 Margie Roy Hornsdale
1949 Chicken Every Sunday Geoffrey Lawson
1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Avery Brubaker
1952 Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick Aaron Slick
1952 Androcles and the Lion Androcles
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 McDuckVoice, Animated short, also credited for "Story"
1985 The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal HimselfDocumentary
1986 The Great Mouse Detective Hiram Flaversham (voice)
1987 Alice Through the Looking Glass White Knight (voice)
1990 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Scrooge McDuck (voice)
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
1996The Flintstones Christmas in BedrockAdditional voices
1999 Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Scrooge McDuck (voice) Direct-to-video
2002 The Time Machine Flower Store Worker
2004Em & MeGrandfather 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


1950–1953 The Alan Young Show AlanTelevision 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 Himself5 episodes
1958Alan Young (TV series)Alan3 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 PostLead Role
143 episodes
1962 Death Valley Days John Batterson Stetson "The Hat That Won the West"
1966 Mr. Terrific Stanley BeamishTV pilot
1976 Gibbsville Kanzler"Saturday Night"
1978–1980 Battle of the Planets 7-Zark-7, KeyopEnglish dub
1978, 1983 The Love Boat Ross, Phil Sharp2 episodes
1980HumptyHumpty Dumpty (voice)
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!"
1983 Saturday Supercade additional voices13 episodes [19]
1984 Robo Force S.O.T.A.TV film
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 Pepper15 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"
1991Earth AngelNormanTV film
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 film
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 Disney's 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

1997 The Curse of Monkey Island Haggis McMutton
2008 Disney Think Fast Scrooge McDuck
2010 Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
2013 DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot
2013 DuckTales: Remastered

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  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. "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981, Animated Series) Voice Cast". Voice Chasers.
  13. Sylvie Drake (September 16, 1991). "Stage: 'Show Boat' Afloat Without Its Star".
  14. Alan Young's voiceography. Behind the Voice – check mark indicates BTVA has verified the entries using screenshots of credits and other confirmed sources.
  15. 1 2 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.
  16. Reuters (May 20, 2016). "Alan Young dead; 'Mister Ed' star was 96". AM New York. Archived from the original on May 22, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  17. Critchlow, Donald T. (October 21, 2013). "When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics". Cambridge University Press via Google Books.
  18. "Radio's Golden Age". Nostalgia Digest. 40 (1): 40–41. Winter 2014.
  19. Alan Young