He earned an Emmy during his lengthy career

Updated May 20, 2016 06:40 PM
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brightcove.createExperiences(); Alan Young, a veteran actor who played Wilbur Post on the hit sitcom Mister Ed, died Thursday at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 96.

Young died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes, surrounded by his adult children, according to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which announced his passing.

Young starred on the CBS comedy for five seasons from 1961–66, playing the married architect who owned a talking horse named Mr. Ed (voiced by Allan “Rocky” Lane).

In 1995, Young opened up to PEOPLE about his time on the show and working with his equine costar, who died in 1973. Young joked the real-life Mr. Ed got the star treatment on set.

When scolded by his trainer, “Ed would come right over to me, like, ‘Look what he said to me!’ ” recalled Young. “He had a great personality. Inquisitive and docile. That’s what Ed was.”

Young was born in England in 1919 and grew up in Scotland and Canada. During his long career, he earned an Emmy for his talk show The Alan Young Show in 1950 and voiced Scrooge McDuck on the cartoon series DuckTales (1987–90). He also had roles on the big screen in tom thumb (1958), The Time Machine (1960) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994).

Contributions in Young’s honor may be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund and to Y.E.S. The Arc, a residential program for people with special needs.