Already known for his offbeat animal characters, Arthur Lubin in 1961 produced television’s “Mr. Ed.”
In the 1950s, Lubin directed six of the seven "Francis the Talking Mule" movies, precursors to the half-hour sitcom "Mr. Ed," which he also produced.
The TV comedy — in which Francis was converted to a horse rather than a mule while also undergoing a name change — starred Wilbur Post, an architect who flees the big city to discover nature and finds that the palomino who occupies his new barn can talk but refuses to speak to anyone but him.
The horse explained that Wilbur was the only human being he had ever met who was worth talking to.
With [Alan] Young as Post and western star Rocky Lane providing the horse's voice, the show began in syndication in 1961 and then ran for five seasons on CBS (1961-65). It was one of the few series to start in syndication and then be picked up by a network. …
This portrait accompanied a Dec. 9, 1962, Los Angeles Times profile on Lubin.
An earlier version of this post appeared on June 7, 2013.
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