Thursday, January 05, 2006

Alan Young and Me


This is a picture of Alan Young and Connie Hines the human stars of TV's Mr. Ed, at a celebrity and memorabilia convention I attended in Burbank last summer. Meeting Alan Young was a fun experience for me because I'd been such a fan of his work sense childhood. I was able to get a picture with the veteran actor and an autographed copy of his autobiography Mr. Ed and Me, which I just finished reading. Alan Young certainly had an interesting life story, the man loves to entertain and has always striven to make his work family appropriate.

Alan Young was born in England in 1919 to a Scottish father but raised in Canada. A sickly boy Alan spent prolonged periods in his youth confined to his room where he learned to manipulate his voice, it was these talents as well as a good sense of humor that got Alan a job on local and later national Canadian radio. In the 1940's Alan Young got his own radio program on NBC's now long defunct 'Blue Network', an assingment which lead to his own sketch variety show in the early days of television. The Alan Young Show was a critical and commercial success, but the stress of writing, producing, and staring in his own weekly television program eventually got the best of him and Alan scrubbed the show after three years. Never a great success in Hollywood Alan returned to weekly TV in the 1960's with the 5 year run of the talking horse program Mr. Ed. After Ed's run was over Alan Young made a brief attempt at Broadway in the notoriously short lived play 'The Girl in the Freudian Slip", and then retired from acting to work for the Christian Science church for about seven years (an experience he found profoundly disillusioning). Alan has now found renewed fame as a voice actor, most notably as 'Scrooge McDuck' on televisions Ducktales and a number of other programs and movies for the Disney Company. Alan Young currently lives in southern California.

  • A movie I saw recently: Woody Allens Hollywood Ending is probably one of those movies that I like more then it deserves. The story of has-been director Val Waxman who goes psychosomaticly blind when given a chance to direct a comeback film. Waxman is still hopelessly in love with his ex-wife Ellie (Tea Leoni) who is acting as a producer on the movie and is engaged to the head of the studio (Treat Williams). Of course Val is able to recovery his sight and win back the girl, but not until after having directed the entire film blind with the held of his ex, a Chinese translator and his agent (played by director Mark Rydall). Vals movie by the way is a total floop in America but the French love it. Hollywood Ending is a simple story from its standard Woody Allen opening sequence of white title cards against a black backdrop and a vintage score to the closing line about Dramamean. This is one Allen movie that even the notoriously self critical director has stated came together just about perfectly, a marked improvement from his not fully realized film of the previous year The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. While I think Love and Death will always been Allens funnist film there were a few moments that I vocally laughed during this movie, and with its being rated PG-13 and not particularly artisy, it's one of the more accesable of the directors films for a mainstream audiance.

2 Comments:

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Darin Wilkerson said...

I LIKE THAT PICTURE OF ALAN YOUNG AND CONNIE HINES WHEN THEY WAS AT THE AUCTION TOGETHER LIKE THEY WAS ON MISTER ED

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Darin Wilkerson said...

I LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU'RE IN THE RESURRECTION.

 

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