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Mini Bio (1)
Mister Ed was born in El Monte, California, and his real name was Bamboo Harvester. He was a palomino show horse that had his own show. On the Mr. Ed show, he played a talking horse that only spoke to his owner Wilber. Bamboo Harvester actually had a stunt double who stepped in often. He died in 1968 in Snodgrass Farm, Talequah, Oklahoma, USA.
Mister Ed, a Palomino horse officially named Bamboo Harvester, was a show and parade horse who was foaled in 1949 in El Monte, California. His parents were The Harvester (Sire), a Saddlebred owned by Edna and Jim Fagan; and Zetna, (Dam) who was sired by Antez, an Arabian imported from Poland. Bamboo Harvester was trained by Lester Hilton. Lester “Les” Hilton had been apprenticed under Will Rogers. and also worked with the mules in the “Francis the Talking Mule” movies. Due to old-age ailments, Bamboo Harvester was put to sleep in 1968. The producer of the Mister Ed series never would answer the question of how the horse’s lips were made to move. There have been many theories over the years, including the use of peanut butter, but none have been authenticated.
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.
While “Mr. Ed” was supposedly an 8 year 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. His double, 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 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.
Mister Ed was named by the House Committee for Un-American Activities as a Leftist in 1950.