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‘Mister Ed’ Star Alan Young Dead at 96

Alan Young, who is remembered for starring opposite a horse on 1960s comedy “Mister Ed,” died on Thursday of natural causes according to officials at the Motion Picture & Television Home in Woodland Hills, California. He was 96.

Born Nov. 19, 1919 as Angus Young in North Shields, Northumberland, England, Young had his own comedy radio series on the CBC network, but left during World War II to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy. 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.

Young’s film debut was in “Margie” in 1946 and he headlined a half-hour comedy-variety series on CBS, “The Alan Young Show,” from 1950 to 1953, which resulted in an Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1951. Young continued to act in films, including “Androcles and the Lion” in 1952 and “Gentlemen Marry Brunettes” in 1955, but it was “Mister Ed,” which started in first-run syndication and moved to CBS in season two, that made him a familiar personality. He also starred in the unaired 1966 pilot episode of CBS sitcom “Mr. Terrific,” but declined to appear in the broadcast series in 1967 that followed.

Young made the rounds as a guest star in TV series like”The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,’ “St. Elsewhere,” “Coach,” “Party of Five” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” and voiced the character of Scrooge McDuck. He was married three times — to Mary Anne Grimes, Virginia McCurdy and Mary Chipman — and had four children.