Ed’s father was a professor of fine art at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. He was raised in Europe and in the America, and received a education from the University of Chicago. This is where Ed obtained a background in Entomology (the study of insects), and named over 100 insects. In his home there is an entire wall of his laboratory is covered with framed originals of some of these creatures.
Ed soon left his family home to serve in the Korean war. When his duty was served, he lived in the Florida Keys. He found some work as a diver, fishing guide, and artist. He even began to nurture an interest in acting and performing in the theater. Afterwards he moved to Los Angeles.
Ed eventually went on to play roles in more than 150 television episodes and motion pictures, including regular roles as Fenton Hardy in ABC's "The Hardy Boys" and the host of PBS's "The New Literacy". During these years he was very much on-camera as an actor or spokesman. Some of the commercials he did featured American Airlines, Mutual of Omaha, Goodyear, RCA, and Chevrolet. For 11 years, he taught bi-weekly workshops for the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory, working with struggling actors to show them how to approach on-camera work.
During the mid 1980's Ed decided to take the leap from on camera actor to voice-over artist at the encouragement of his former agent, Arlene Thornton. Later Gilbert left Thornton's agency and joined International Creative Management.
By then, Ed and the animation industry had found each other, and the relationship has been a happy one. His voice characterization of Baloo, the lead character in Disney's "Tale Spin" series, and the voice of Looten Plunder on "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" TV series. He ended up having 15 regular roles on more then a dozen animated series. Ed also did movies, including The Little Mermaid, Tom and Jerry - The Movie, and as “Francois” in The Rescuers Down Under. In 1993, he even ventured out to do video games, he lent his voice as “Art” and “Daryl” in the game Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! .
On May 8th 1999 Ed Gilbert lost his battle with lung cancer. He was 67. Up until his death he lived in the hills above Beverly Hills with his wife, Virginia, an artist and their cat, Nibbles. Together they had two children: a daughter named Dorian, who is a special education teacher in Arizona. And their stepson Spencer, who is an attorney and investment broker on Wall Street.