The Hollywood Reporter wrote (abridged):
“Alan Young, who answered to the name “Willburrrrrrrrrrrrr” on Mister Ed, the wacky 1960s sitcom that revolved around a talking horse, has died. For six seasons Young played straight man to a golden palomino. He died of natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Mister Ed started out in syndication in January 1960 on about 100 stations. CBS picked up the show, and it aired until February 1966.”
For the full story: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/alan-young-dead-mister-ed-816846?utm_source=twitter.
As a kid, I occasionally wagged school to watch afternoon TV shows like “Mr Ed” and “My Mother The Car” Those two shows summed up the wacky excesses of sixties American sitcoms. They did not make it into New Zealand prime time, but I’d argue the laughs for Mr Ed, though hokey, are better than for some sitcoms on screen now.
Mr Ed was made to look like he was talking by putting a piece of nylon thread in his mouth. (I doubt it would not pass muster with animal rights rules nowadays). Alan Young was reported as saying Mr Ed had learned to move his lips on cue when the trainer touched his hoof. The voice of the real star – the horse of course – was actor Allan Lane, though he was not credited. According to Wikipedia, the voice belonged to “an actor who prefers to remain nameless.”