Alan Young will probably be remembered best for his role as long-suffering talking-horse owner Wilbur Post in Mister Ed, a 1960s pioneering CBS sitcom that had a lengthy second life in cable reruns on Nick at Nite. But to me, he will always be Uncle Scrooge, an animated Disney character he voiced on and off from 1974 up until very recently.
Young — who truly represented his surname by working with spirit well into his golden years — left us this week, Variety reports. He was 96.
The English-born, Canadian-American actor and comedian had already had a long career before he met that talking horse, in radio, film (including George Pal’s 1960 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ seminal sci-fi tale The Time Machine, with second billing to Rod Taylor) and the early days of television.
From 1987-1990, he portrayed Scrooge McDuck in The Disney Afternoon’s DuckTales, leading nephews Huey, Louie, Dewey and sometimes Donald on globe-trotting, gold-digging adventures. Young was one of the returning cast members who provided voice-over talent for DuckTales Remastered when Capcom’s platforming NES classic based on the show got an upgrade for modern consoles in 2013.
We don’t know yet whether Young contributed his talents to next year’s DuckTales TV reboot on Disney XD. But wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to us, and a fitting coda and crowning achievement to the career of a man who made so many of us richer just by doing what he loved?