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Mr Ed, Of Course Of Course!

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About Alan Young An amiable comedy player of radio, film and television, Alan Young won an Emmy starring in his own CBS show in the early 1950s, but will forever be remembered as Wilbur Post, the quiet, married fellow whose confidant and best buddy was a talking horse named "Mr. Ed" (1961-65).

Alan Young was born November, 1919 in the North Country of England, but moved to Canada with his family when he was seven years old. By age 13, he was performing comedy monologues on stage and spent most of the 30s and early 40s on radio, both in Canada and the US. After serving in the Canadian Navy during World War II, Young migrated to Hollywood, where he made his feature film debut in "Margie" (1946), in which he was a teenager in the Roaring 20s. Supporting roles in "Chicken Every Sunday" and "Mr. Belvedere Goes to College" (both 1949) did not raise his screen profile, so, in 1950, he turned to TV with "The Alan Young Show" (CBS), in which he performed a monologue, sang a song or two, and became involved in a lightly handled predicament or problem--not dissimilar from the formats of other comedians like Jack Benny and Burns and Allen. When Young won his Emmy, there was a slight controversy. At the time, there was only one performance category for actors, with variety performers, comic actors and tragedians all mixed together. Young was so heralded that year, he even topped Jose Ferrer, much to the consternation of those who felt (and feel) that drama was more prestigious.

His small screen success meant another shot at feature films. Young was cast as a country bumpkin courting Dinah Shore in "Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick" (1952), a box office and critical disaster--even Dinah Shore would later credit it with ruining any chances of a screen career for herself. Yet, Young bounced back with the title role in "Androcles and the Lion" (1953), which also failed to attract audiences. In the summer of 1954, Young hosted "Saturday Night Revue", a replacement series for the vacationing "Your Show of Shows" on NBC. For the remainder of the 50s, Young made guest appearances on TV series. He did have one screen success playing Woody the Piper in the well-received children's film "Tom Thumb" (1958).

While his career seemed to be stalled, in 1960 he was asked to step in and replace the original lead in the series "The Wonderful World of Wilbur Post". Producers had felt there was no chemistry between the first actor and his co-star, a palomino horse. Perhaps the horse had a better agent because when the series went on the air in January 1961, the series was called "Mr. Ed", despite Young's star billing. Young and the horse worked well together. The premise of the show owed much to the successful Francis the talking mule films: the palomino Ed would only talk to Wilbur and he was sassy, irascible, and did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it--usually necessitating the Wilbur help him to get him out of a jam. The show premiered as a syndicated series before moving to CBS in October 1961, one of the few instances in TV history of a show going from syndication to a network. It ran as a ratings favorite until 1965.

One would expect that Young would have had his pick of work, but he chose instead to work for his beloved Christian Science Church, heading its film and broadcasting department. He severed most ties with Hollywood, rarely being heard from or about. Yet, occasionally, he would make an appearance back in front of the cameras, such as in "Baker's Hawk" (1976) and Disney's "The Cat From Outer Space" (1978). Young even showed up on "The Love Boat" in 1983 and "Murder, She Wrote" in 1986. He even had a short-term role on ABC's popular soap opera "General Hospital". Additionally, Young began a secondary career as a voice actor. He was the kidnapped toymaker Flaversham, complete with Scottish brogue in "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) and Scrooge McDuck in both "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983) and "Ducktales: The Movie" (1990). Young also could be heard on Saturday mornings in "Scruffy", "The Smurfs" and other series. He briefly returned to series TV with the unsuccessful sitcom "Coming of Age" (CBS, 1988-89), about the residents of a retirement community. In 1994, Young made a return to feature films playing Uncle Dave, the character whose theme park and life Eddie Murphy must save in "Beverly Hills Cop III" and that same year appeared with Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner in the NBC reunion telefilm "Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is".

About Connie Hines Connie Hines played Carol Post, the wife of horse whisperer Wilbur Post in the 1960s TV sitcom Mister Ed. The horsing around, tongue in cheek sitcom ran on the CBS network from 1961 to 1966.

Ed was a cranky talking horse who would speak only to his owner, Wilbur (played by Alan Young). If anyone else (including Carol) was around, Ed remained reticent. Young later said of Hines, "She was a girl married to a fellow listening to a horse. Her biggest lines were announcing meals or visitors

The rest of it was reacting to Wilbur. Connie never complained. She was primarily a TV actress, appearing on 60's shows, including Sea Hunt, Perry Mason, and Bonanza. She retired from show business in 1970 after marrying Lee Savin, a recognized entertainment lawyer.

About Clint Eastwood Clinton Eastwood Jr. was born on May 31, 1930, in San Francisco, California. He was the first of Clinton and Ruth Eastwood's two children. Eastwood attended eight different grammar schools, as his parents moved frequently in search of work during the Great Depression (192939; a time when the U.S. economy was very weak and many people were without work). They finally settled in Oakland, California. He attended Oakland Technical High School and even appeared in a school play, an experience he did not enjoy. Eastwood swam competitively in high school and also played on the basketball team. After graduating in 1948, he held various low-paying jobs before being drafted into the army. He was discharged in 1953. Then he enrolled in Los Angeles City College as a business major, supporting himself with various odd jobs, including digging swimming pool foundations.

Army friends in the film business urged Eastwood to take a screen test at Universal Studios. His good looks landed him a job as a contract player in 1955. He earned seventy-five dollars a week playing small parts in bad movies. Universal dropped him in 1956, and by 1958 Eastwood was again digging swimming pools for a living. As the result of a chance meeting, he was chosen for the cast of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) television series Rawhide, which lasted seven years (195966).

During a break from Rawhide in 1964, Eastwood filmed the western A Fistful of Dollars in Spain with Italian director Sergio Leone. The film made Eastwood an overnight star. He returned to Europe to film two more westerns, For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966). Eastwood's character in these films was cold and tough, as were characters in his later westerns, such as The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and Unforgiven (1992). Another tough character he created was Harry Callahan, a detective who ignores police regulations and practices his own brand of justice. Callahan was introduced in Dirty Harry (1971), which viewers loved. Eastwood made four later films with the Callahan character.

astwood's first attempt at directing a film was successful with Play Misty for Me (1971), a thriller. It received good reviews and did well at the box office, as did many of the films he directed after it. He starred in most of them, but not in one of his finest efforts, Bird (1988), which dealt with the life of the jazz musician Charlie Parker 19201955). Jazz music has appeared frequently on the soundtracks of many of Eastwood's films.

In the early 1980s Eastwood began to receive more recognition for his contributions as producer and director, especially in his smaller films. In 1985 he flew to Paris, France, to accept the honor of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, a national award. In 1992 Eastwood won his first Academy Award for Unforgiven. Three years later the Academy honored him with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is given to producers or directors with a body of high-quality motion picture work. Eastwood continues to act and direct, his later films including The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Absolute Power (1997), and Space Cowboys (2000).

Clint Eastwood's greatest directorial and acting accomplishment was the award winning "Million Dollar Baby" with Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman co-starring. Eastwood played a devout Catholic who was also a gym owner and boxing coach, {spoler alert}, when the young female boxer was seriously maimed by a vicious competitor, she asked her coach to euthanize her, against his religious beliefs.

A few years later, Eastwood wrote, directed, and starred in "Gran Torino," a lesser accomplishment. Eastwood played a disgruntled Catholic, also a former Korean War veteran. He spits in front of a new Asian family who moved next door, tells them to stay off his lawn, then {spoiler alert} gets killed defending the Asian children from a incorrigible Crypts-like gang.

Clint Eastwood lives in Carmel, California. Most of his friends are not involved in show business. He has been approached many times to run for political office but has refused, except for serving a two-year term (198688) as mayor of Carmel. Eastwood decided to run because he disapproved of zoning laws in the city. After changing the laws, he stepped down. Eastwood had two children with his first wife Maggie Johnson, whom he married in 1953. They divorced in 1984 after a long separation, with Johnson receiving a reported $25 million settlement. Eastwood also lived for over ten years with actress Sandra Locke, who appeared in many of his films. The end of that relationship resulted in a lawsuit that required Eastwood to pay Locke more than $7 million. In 1996 Eastwood married Dina Ruiz, a television reporter.

In 2000 a jury ruled that Eastwood did not have to pay damages to a disabled woman who claimed his Mission Ranch Inn did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, Eastwood was ordered to improve handicapped access to the hotel office at his property near Carmel. Later that year Eastwood was given a Kennedy Center Honor by U.S. president Bill Clinton (1946) and praised as a man who continues to take risks in his work. In 2001 Eastwood received the San Francisco International Film Festival's Akira Kurosawa Award for directing. Later that year, noting Eastwood's concern for the environment, the governor of California appointed him to the state's Park and Recreation Commission.

Les Hilton was both the trainer of and voice for Mr. Ed. He is biographically silent. Mr Ed, once a horse show attraction, is no longer with us to tell his story.

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