Here's why we should remember Alan Young for more than just 'Mister Ed'

He was the voice behind some of our favorite animated characters.

Image: Associated Press

Alan Young, who's best known to television audiences as the man who could talk to a horse on Mr. Ed, passed away Thursday at the age of 96. 

Young starred as Wilbur Post, the klutzy architect who had the ability to speak to a horse named Mister Ed. With the chemistry between the voice actor behind Mister Ed and Young, the show became an instant success. It was one of the few programs to debut in syndication, only to be picked up by a major network for prime time.

Even though Young played the straight-faced man for five seasons in the 1960s, he had many other roles and stayed active in the business until this year.

When Mr. Ed ended in 1966, Young took a decade-long hiatus from Hollywood, traveling around the country. In the 1970s, the actor returned to the small screen in a few guest spots on some short-lived shows. When the onscreen roles didn't pan out, Young made the swtich to voice acting in the 1980s.

While many actors strive to be front and center their entire careers, Young found great success behind the scenes that allowed for career longevity and relevance. 

That being said, here's why we should not only remember Young in his hilarious role on Mr. Ed, but also for his outstanding body of work both in front of and behind the camera. 

The Alan Young Show


Young was an early pioneer in the television industry. Like many successful actors in the 1940s, he had a self-titled radio show. CBS saw how popular the show was and decided to try it out onscreen. The sketch comedy show did okay in the ratings, but it earned Young his first and only Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He was one of the first actors to win that distinction. 

Image: Wikipedia

Scrooge McDuck


In 1974, Young started his next big role as the voice actor behind Scrooge McDuck, the greedy uncle of Donald Duck. For over 40 years, Young voiced the duck in over hundreds of TV episodes, movies and specials. Clearly, Young was in love with the role, just like Scrooge was in love with money. 

Image: Disney

The Smurfs


Noticing his talent for voice acting, Young also lent his voice to The Smurfs in the 1980s. His voice was used for characters like Miner Smurf, Farmer Smurf and Scardey Smurf, among many others. 

Image: Warner Bros.

Alvin & The Chipmunks


Never one to steal the spotlight, Young took a backseat with the animated series Alvin & The Chipmunks in the 1980s. He wasn't the voice behind Alvin, Simon, Theodore or even Dave. Instead, his talented vocal chords helped him transform into various characters for 42 episodes, including Grandpa Seville.

Image: 20th Century Fox

The Incredible Hulk


Despite having steady work with The Smurfs, Scrooge McDuck and Alvin and the Chipmunks, Young also managed to voice Cyclops Computer in the animated series The Incredible Hulk. 

Image: Disney

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