Today the world mourns the loss of a yet another Hollywood icon, actor Alan Young. Young lived to the enviable age of 96 and had a long and illustrious career that spanned the entire latter half of the twentieth century and continued up until 2015. Screen Rant readers will recognize Alan Young as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the DuckTales cartoon series, House of Mouse, Mickey’s Christmas Carol and the modern Mickey Mouse cartoon. Young was also well-known for his leading role as Wilbur in the classic series Mister Ed.
2016 has been a very difficult year for celebrity losses, with iconic names like David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Lemmy, former WWE wrestler Chyna, Doris Roberts, Patty Duke and Gary Shandling, just to name a few. The latest name to make the list, Alan Young, was known for both his on-screen and voice acting. Young was discovered in his home at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, a celebrity retirement community, where he died of natural causes at the age of 96. Young is survived by his two children.
Alan Young began his acting career in 1939, quickly getting his own show, The Alan Young Show. The series began in 1944 as a radio sitcom but would become a television variety program in 1950, when it was broadcast by the CBS network. Young would continue to have success in both television and film roles, eventually landing the lead as Wilbur Post opposite the famous talking horse in the 1961 television series, Mister Ed. The series, which centered around a man and his talking horse, would run for five years and 143 episodes, becoming one of the flagship shows to help launch the Nick at Night network decades later.
The acting of Alan Young spanned generations, with everything from roles in classic films like Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), The Time Machine (1960) and The Cat from Outer Space (1978) to more modern fare like Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Em & Me (2004) and modern television series like ER, Coach, Doogie Howser, M.D. and Party of Five.
What would solidify Young as an absolute icon, however, was his work as a voice actor. He enjoyed roles in Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and The Surfs – then the role of Scrooge McDuck in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He would reprise the role for the cult classic Disney Afternoon series DuckTales. Born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to Scottish parents, Young was able to master a convincing accent that would make the role iconic for generations of viewers. Young would also enjoy voice roles in several famous series like Talespin, Batman: The Animated Series and The Ren & Stimpy Show.
The world is quickly running out of the rare breed of actor that was a part of the transition between radio and television. During his career Alan Young was a pioneer – with work that will be enjoyed by fans for many years to come.