Friday, July 30, 2010

SOME Players on Mister Ed

The full cast list is immense for the wonderful TV show "Mister Ed" that aired from 1961 to 1966.  Of course, Alan Young and Connie Hines as Wilber and Carol Post, plus Allan Lane who voiced Mister Ed, plus a few others were the mainstays of the series.  Let's look deeper.

Mister Ed was played by Bamboo Harvester, a palomino foaled in 1949.  He was trained by Lester Hilton who also worked on the Francis the Talking Mule series, and was an apprentice of Will Rogers. 

If you glance quickly down the list you will see many names that you may recognize:
Jack Albertson
Richard Deacon
Donna Douglas
Bill Baldwin  (No, not THAT Bill Baldwin, the other one who was in Rocky.  Remember?)
Bobby Diamond  (If you are my age, you will remember Diamond as Joey on the Saturday morning TV hit "Fury," pre "Mister Ed.")
Sharon Tate
Jack LaLanne
Butch Patrick  (If you are younger than I, you will remember Patrick as Eddie on "The Munsters," post "Mister Ed.")
Henry Brandon, who we already discussed here.
And, of course, George Burns.

It looks like everyone recognized the quality of "Mister Ed" and wanted to be part of it.  And the list above just scratches the surface.

Let's quickly pick a name at random and see what that person has done in addition to "Mister Ed."  How about Chick Chandler.  Probably no relation to George Chandler from "Lassie."  Chick lived from 1905 to 1988, and appeared in 170 roles from 1925 to 1971.  His name is unknown to me, but he must fit perfectly into the Bit Actor category.

I don't recognize many of the early titles he was in.  Included in the movies I know; one Mr. Moto movie in 1938; The Bride Came COD in 1941 with James Cagney and Bette Davis; two movies with Humphrey Bogart, The Big Shot (1942) and Action in the North Atlantic (1943); three Blondie films with Penny Singleton; and some other very good films, Showboat (1951), Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick in 1952 with Alan Young, A Star is Born with Judy Garland in 1954, etc., right up to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Starting in the 1950's he spent most of his time on TV, including three episodes on "Mister Ed" and right up to "Bonanza" in the 1970's.  Most of these appearances were one or two episodes, but he did star in one season of a 1961 TV show called "One Happy Family" that included Dick Sargent.  Sorry, but I never saw it!

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