Depending on how old you are (or just how much time you've spent watching TV
), you'll know Alan Young best as either Mr. Ed's
owner Wilbur Post
or as the voice of the World's Richest Duck
: Scrooge McDuck
from Mickey's Christmas Carol
(1983) and the series "DuckTales
Alan Young (born Angus) was born 19 November 1919 at North Shields, Tyne-and-Wear England. When he was about five, his parents moved to Canada (probably explaining the non-English accent). Apparently show business was in his blood because by the age of thirteen, he made his "entertainment debut as a comedy monologuist."
Young continued performing and doing comedy as well as working on writing. When he was seventeen, he had already started working full time in radio (anything he could get assigned to, including writing, performing, and news editing). He also did some cartooning and commercial art work, and was in the Canadian Navy.
In 1946, he tried acting in films. Young didn't make much of a splash there, though he did have the starring role in the adaptation of Androcles and the Lion (1952). Instead, he made his mark in television, getting his own program, "The Alan Young Show" on CBS. It ran from 1950 to 1953. It was a sketch/variety show with plenty of comedy, starring Young (who was also a writer on the show). In 1951, he won an Emmy for the show.
Young continued to make the occasional film and working in television, performing on a number of shows through 1960. Then it happened: in 1961, Mr. Alan Young became Mr. Wilbur Post, architect and owner of the "famous Mr. Ed" (if he was so "famous" why didn't anyone else know he could talk? But I digress...). The show was a hit (and can still be found in syndication some places today) and made Young a starthough probably typecasting him for life. In addition to acting (in one episode titled "Wilbur's Father" he also appeared as "Angus Post"), he also did some directing for the show.
During its run, the show won a Golden Globe (1963) for "Best TV Show." "Mister Ed" was finally put down in 1966. Young spent some time heading the broadcast unit for the Christian Science Church in Boston. He did a few films, perhaps the most notable(?) being 1978's The Cat from Outer Space. Eventually, he created a career for himself doing voice-overs for cartoons (though he still did some guest star type work on television, "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote" being two). In 1988 he attempted returning to television in a regular capacity in a short-lived sitcom called "Coming of Age."
But it's the cartoons he's known for (after his stint as that horse-owner). In 1983, he added his voice and "Scottish accent" to multi-multi-multi-bazillionaire Scrooge McDuck for Mickey's Christmas Carol, a reworking of the Dickens classic using the Disney characters. Young also has a writing credit on that movie. That role eventually led to his work on the hit syndicated cartoon "DuckTales" which was Disney's attempt to bring the action and adventure of the Carl Barks comic book Scrooge stories (with a great deal of wise-quackery thrown in) to television and a new generation of Duck fan. It even made it on screen as DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp in 1990 (not a classic Disney venture, but a nice expansion of the animated series to the big screen). He reprised his role as Scrooge in the straight to video Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999).
Another minorly recurring character was as Haggis MacHaggis (the Scotsman) in a few episodes of "The Ren and Stimpy Show".
While best known in those roles, he has done quite a bit of other voice work for cartoons (mostly as an "additional voice" or bit parts), including:
He also provided the voice for Haggis McMutton in the video game "The Curse of Monkey Island."
One final note: he's been sighted at "Mr. Ed" fan conventions singing the theme song....
Editors Note: Alan Young he died of natural causes on May 19, 2016. He was 96 years old.
(Sources: http://users.aol.com/mwn3/page3.html, www.tvchronicles.com/usa/usaapart2.htm, www.imdb.com)