was a handsome Palomino/Saddlebred stallion with a lot of personality,
not to mention patience. Wilbur, the guy who put a roof over his head,
gave him a lot of trouble. Ed was sort of a cynic in a way, but you
know what they say: scratch a cynic and find a romantic. Ed had a big
Mr. Ed had a lot of friends. He and Wilbur's wife had a sort of
understanding. Ed had a grudging respect for her, and she felt the same
way about him. They had to share Wilbur, but then they also shared
getting Wilbur out of trouble. That cemented the bond.
Thing about Ed was, he really needed Wilbur. Living in a garage with no
other horses to pal around with, and no pasture to play in or trees to
hang out under in the summer, he needed Wilber, especially since he was
so easy to beat at chess. He also supplied a standing order of carrots,
hay, sweet feed and nice, pure spring water. This is not to mention
maid service, which a lot of people didn't know about.
On the whole, life was pretty good.
Behind the scenes: Mr. Ed was played by a Palomino/Saddlebred stallion
named 'Bamboo Harvester'. He was liberty trained (no lead line) by
Lester Hilton, who had learned a little from Will Rogers. The voice of
Ed was performed by actor Allan "Rocky" Lane.
Ed had a double! Pumpkin was a quarter horse but looked very much like
Ed, except for a gold spot in the middle of his white blaze. This spot
was covered with white makeup when he worked as Ed's replacement. Ed
was jealous (really!) of Pumpkin, who lived in the stall next door. If
visitors went to meet Pumpkin first, Ed would get really mad, and stomp
out the back door of his stall into a paddock. He would not come back,
even for carrots!
While "Mr. Ed" was supposedly an 8 yr old horse in
the series, he was actually 11 when the series first went on the air,
and 17 when it ran for the last time in 1966. Shortly after that, his
health began failing. Arthritis and kidney problems made it difficult
to get up and lay down, and Ed broke his leg. But 2 short years after
the series ended, he had to be put down. 'Bamboo Harvester' was 19
years old. Pumpkin did the pudding commercials and other live
appearances after that. They never told anyone at the time, figuring it
might upset the kids that might be watching the syndicated reruns.
Mr. Ed spent his last two years with trainer Les Hilton, who was also a
legend of sorts. He got his start in Hollywood with the 'Francis the
Talking Mule' movies from the late 40's & early 50's, and also
trained the dark horse that played 'Fury' in the 50's TV series, and
Wahama, the little chestnut Arabian mare that played 'Flicka' in the
'My Friend Flicka' TV series from that same period. Bamboo, however, is
his most famous pupil. Les died in 1973, so we'll probably never really
know just where "Ed" was buried.
Info about 'Mr. Ed' courtesy of
Listen to a song about
'Mr. Ed' by Gerry Lukacik! © 2004 'Right click' on
the link to download to your PC.