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Mister Ed Cast Deaths That We Are Sad to Announce

Some TV shows are clearly just products of their time. Mister Ed might not be the kind of TV show you’d expect to see premier today, as Dinsey has pretty much run the ‘talking animal genre’ into the ground at this point, but it certainly was groundbreaking and entertaining when it debuted in syndication on January 5, 1961. You see, back then, audiences weren’t quite as spoiled as we are today.

While modern-day special effects and CGI can convincingly bring to life just about anything that a filmmaker can dream up, back in the early 60s, getting a horse to “talk” by smearing peanut butter on his lip and overlaying that footage with a voiceover was pretty revolutionary.

In fact, the series was so successful that CBS ended up picking it up shortly after it’s first run in syndication ended and proceeded to air it for a total of six seasons and 143 episodes.

Mister Ed’s concept was derived from a series of short series penned by author Walter R. Brooks. The show also heavily borrowed from the Francis the Talking Mule films, which were popular throughout the 1950s.

An equine named Bamboo Harvester played Mister Ed while the voice of Mister Ed was provided by Allan Lane. Wilbur Post, Mister Ed’s klutzy yet always genial owner was played by Alan Young. These leads were joined on screen by a fairly incredible cast of supporting characters. Join Facts Verse as we take a moment to pay our respect to the Mister Ed cast members who are sadly no longer with us.

Allan Lane

Born Harry Lenoard Albershardt on the 22nd of September, 1909, Allan was an actor who appeared in dozens of B-movies in the 1940s and 1950s. He also frequently was cast as a leading man in numerous big studio productions. He got his start in Hollywood in 1929, and throughout his career, Lane appeared in more than 125 films and television shows.

Lane was arguably best known for his portrayal of western hero Red Ryder and for voicing Mister Ed. Interestingly, Lane was never credited onscreen for his voice-over work.

Lane died of cancer in California in 1973. He was 64 years old when he passed.

In 2003, Lane won the TV Land Award posthumously in the category of “Favorite Pet-Human Relationship” for his role as Mister Ed.

Alan Young

TV Guide once called Young the Charlie Chaplin of Television. The British Canadian actor, comedian, radio host, and TV host was active in the entertainment industry for the majority of his life. He was born in 1919 in North Shields, Northumberland, England. When he was a toddler, Young’s family moved to West Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada. From an early age, he was immersed in show business as his father was a tap dancer, and his mother was a singer.

As a child, Young became bedridden due to severe asthma. This is when he came to love radio. While he was in high school, Young already had his own comedy series on the CBC radio network. After graduating, Young served in the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II. He ended up leaving the service early, however, after learning that he would be spending all of his time writing for a Navy Show.

After resigning his Navy commission, Young moved to Toronto, where he continued his radio career. It was there that he was discovered by an American talent agent who carted him back to New York City to appear in an American radio program in 1944.

Young went on to appear in dozens of radio programs, feature films, and television shows. His most noteworthy role was that of Wilbur Post on Mister Ed. He also voiced Scrooge McDuck for more than 30 years, beginning with 1983s Academy Award-nominated short Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Young starred in his own variety sketch comedy shows, The Alan Young Show, on radio and television. He ended up winning two Emmy Awards for his work in 1951. In 1960, Young appeared in the MGM film adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. From the 1980s onward, Young did a ton of voice-over and acting work for Walt Disney.

Young never officially retired, although he spent his later years at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. It was there that he died of natural causes at the age of 96 on May 19, 2016.

Connie Hines

Hines was best known for playing Alan Young’s wife, Carol Post, on Mister Ed.

She was born in 1931 in Dedham, Massachusetts. Her mother was an actress, while her father was a teacher and acting coach. As a child, she appeared in several of her dad’s stock theater productions.

After her father’s passing, Hines got married to an insurance agent and relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. It was in the sunshine state that Hines found work as a model and actress. She joined a stock theater company in Miami and had her own programs on Jacksonville’s WMBR-TV station.

After getting divorced from her first husband, Hines went to New York City to study with the Helen Hayes Equity Group. She then moved to Hollywood where she began acting in the syndicated TV series Whirlybirds. She appeared in her first film role in 1960 in the film Thunder in Carolina.

Hines made numerous guest appearances in shows like M Squad, Sea Hunt, Johnny Ringo, and Perry Mason before landing the role of Carol Post on Mister Ed. She never really enjoyed that gig, however, as she later was quoted as calling it ‘tough chore’. She hated how the majority of episodes centered around Wilbur and Mister Ed instead of her. Even so, she stuck with the show until it’s end in 1965.

Hines spent the remainder of her life largely out of the spotlight, although she did appear in the two-person play Love Letter alongside her former Mister Ed co-star Alan Young in 1996. She ended up dying of heart problems on the 18th of December, 2009, at her Beverly Hills home. She was 78 when she passed.

Bamboo Harvester

Foaled in 1949, Bamboo Harvester was an American Saddlebred-Arabian horse who was famous for portraying Mister Ed. He was trained by Will Roger’s protege, Les Hilton.

In 1968, just two years after Mister Ed was cancelled, Bamboo began suffering from a variety of age related maladies, including arthritis and kidney problems. He ended up getting euthanized at the age of 21 in 1970.

Another palomino horse named Punkin was brought in for still shots used in press kits and for the occasional live appearance. Punkin lived until 1979. Following Bamboo Harvester’s death, Punkin was unofficially known as Mister Ed.

Larry Keating

For the first three seasons of Mister Ed, Larry Keating played Wilbur’s next-door neighbor Roger Edison. Previously, Keating had played Harry Morton on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show from 1953 to 1958.

Keating would have likely stuck with Mister Ed until the end if it weren’t for the fact that he passed away in 1963. While the third season was still in production, Keating was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite his diagnosis, Keating showed up to continue working when the fourth season began filming that summer. He filmed three season 4 episodes and continued to work right up to the week before his passing on the 26 of August, 1963.

Edna Skinner

On Mister Ed, Skinner played Larry Keating’s wife, Kay Addison. After Keating passed away, Skinner’s character was replaced. At first, the writers were just going to have her be a widow, but ultimately they decided to bring in another married couple instead.

Skinner was born on the 23rd of May, 1921. She grew up in Fulton, New York, where she got her start acting in local theater productions. Skinner remained active in the entertainment industry from 1948 to 1964 when she retired from acting for goog. She later was known for being a considerable authority on fly fishing.

Skinner died of heart failure in Bend, Oregon on August 8, 2003 at 82.

Leon Ames

After Keating died and Skinner was shown the door, the producers of Mister Ed brought in Leon Ames and Florence MacMichael to play the couple Gordon and Winnie Kirkwood.

Ames was a veteran actor who was born in 1902 and got his start acting in 1931. He is best remembered for portraying father figures in films like 1944s Meet Me in St. Louis, 1949s Little Women, 1951s On Moonlight Bay and 1953s By the Light of the Silvery Moon.

In February 1964, Ames and his wife were taken hostage in their own home when an intruder demanded that they cough up fifty grand before he would free them. Ames ended up calling one of his business partners to arrange for the delivery of the money. After the kidnapper inspected the cash, he left Mr. Ames in the house bound in duct tape. He then instructed Mrs. Ames to drive him away. Before leaving, the criminal stuffed Ames’ business partner and another house guest into the trunk of the vehicle. Eventually, the cops were able to surround the car, arrest the kidnapper, and free all the hostages.

Ames died of a stroke in Laguna Beach, California, in 1993. He was 91.

Florence MacMichael

MacMichael was a stage, film, and TV actress who was best known for playing Mister Ed’s Winnie Kirkland. She was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, and studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

She got her start doing local radio and theater shows before working her way up to Broadway. She later appeared in films like 1959s Woman Obsessed, 1968s The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, and 1972s Welcome Home, Soldier Boys.

On TV, she appeared in shows like My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone, Dennis the Menace, and of course, Mister Ed.

After retiring from acting in the early 70s, MacMichael taught acting classes at the Pasadena Repertory Theater.

She passed away of natural causes on May 28, 1999, at the age of 80.

With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up. It’s not surprising that practically everyone that appeared in Mister Ed is no longer with us. After all, the series came to an end well over 55 years ago.

Even so, it’s nice to take a reflective look back on the people that helped create such an enduring, albeit remarkably cheesy, classic.

Before we sound off, we’d love to ask you a couple of questions. Where you a fan of Mister Ed? If so, did you know that the iconic title character was played by a horse named Bamboo Harvester? Let us know in the comments.

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