Alan Young (I)

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Born

North Shields, Tyne-and-Wear, England, UK

Died

5/19/2016

Birth Name

Angus Young

Gender

Male

Biography:

Alan Young was born in Northern England in 1919, but his Scots father, John Cathcart Young, moved the family, including his wife Florence Pinckney and their two children Hattie and Alan, to Edinburgh, Scotland, when Alan was a toddler and then to Canada when Alan was 5 years old. As a boy, he suffered from severe asthma, which unfortunately kept him bedridden for long periods of time but fortunately encouraged his love of radio. By age 13, Young had become a radio performer, and by age 17, he was writing and performing in his own radio show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The show was broadcast in the U.S. and led to an invitation to New York in 1944, as a summer replacement for Eddie Cantor, which resulted in Young getting his own radio show, originally broadcast from New York and later from Hollywood. While initially gaining success on his Alan Young Radio Show, Young's popularity waned as he lost control over his show's scripts and radio was being replaced by television. When his radio show was cancelled in 1947, Young decided to put together a comedy act and tour the U.S. theater circuit, playing such houses as the Chicago Theatre, the Fox in Detroit, and the Strand on Broadway. While touring, he was spotted by a CBS talent scout and put together a television pilot for CBS in 1950. The Alan Young Show was a well-received live revue that ran for 3 years, earned a couple of Emmy Awards, and garnered Young a star on the Walk of Fame. But the strain of writing and performing a live weekly show got to Young, who requested that the show be filmed instead of broadcast live. His request denied, Young decided to end the show. In the meantime, based on his popularity on radio and television, Young had established a film career, starting with his debut in Margie and continuing with Chicken Every Sunday, Mr. Belvedere Goes to College, Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick and Androcles and the Lion (in both of which he played the title characters), Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, Tom Thumb, and The Time Machine. However, it is in the early 1960s that Young played his best-known role, Wilbur Post, in Mister Ed, which ran from 1961 to 1966. After its cancellation, Young left show business to help establish a broadcast division for the Christian Science Church in Boston. However, he returned to acting in the mid-1970s, making a number of television and film appearances and providing voice characterizations in cartoons, especially as Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales and movies.