Allan Lane

Allan "Rocky" Lane (September 22, 1909 – October 27, 1973) was an American studio leading man and the star of many cowboy B-movies in the 1940s and 1950s. He appeared in more than 125 films and TV shows in a career lasting from 1929 to 1966. He is best known for his portrayal of Red Ryder and for being the voice of the talking horse on the television series Mister Ed, beginning in 1961.

Allan Lane
Lobby card for Not Quite Decent (1929)
Harry Leonard Albershardt

(1909-09-22)September 22, 1909
DiedOctober 27, 1973(1973-10-27) (aged 64)
Resting placeInglewood Park Cemetery
Years active1929–1966
Sheila Ryan
(m. 1945; div. 1946)

Gladys Leslie (divorced)


Lane was born as Harry Leonard Albershardt or Albershart (sources differ) in Mishawaka, Indiana[1] to Linnie Anne and William H. Albershardt.[2] He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[3] Lane had been a photographer, model and stage actor by age 20.

Lane played varsity sports (baseball, football, and basketball) at the University of Notre Dame but dropped out in order to pursue his interests in acting.[4]

Film career

He was spotted by Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century Fox) talent scouts and was signed to a contract. His first film role for Fox was as a romantic lead opposite June Collyer in the 1929 release, Not Quite Decent (now a lost film). He made several other films at Fox but jumped ship to Warner Bros.[1] in the early 1930s.

While at Warner his career foundered, and after a number of bit parts he left films in the early 1930s. By 1936, Lane returned to films and to 20th Century Fox, taking supporting roles in the drama Laughing at Trouble and the Shirley Temple film Stowaway. After several more supporting roles at Fox, Lane longed for a starring role; therefore, he took the lead in a Republic Pictures' short feature, The Duke Comes Back (1937).

From 1929 through 1936, he appeared in twenty-four films. He was in 1938's The Law West of Tombstone. In 1940, he portrayed "RCMP Sergeant Dave King", the role becoming one of his most notable successes. The first was King of the Royal Mounted, a 12-part 1940 serial[5] adaptation of Zane Grey's King of the Royal Mounted. He starred in several Royal Canadian Mounted Police films, including the serials The Yukon Patrol and King of the Mounties. He is best remembered for these today.

In 1946 and 1947, he portrayed Red Ryder in seven films, replacing Wild Bill Elliott in that role.[6] The following year, he became "Rocky Lane" in Western films.

Between 1940 and 1966, Lane made eighty-two film and television series appearances, mostly in westerns. Between 1947 and 1953, he made over 30 B-movie westerns (as "Rocky" Lane) with his faithful horse 'Black Jack'.

His last roles were in voice over acting, including providing the speech for Mister Ed (1961–1966). He was never credited on-screen for providing the voice for Mister Ed.[7]

In 2003, he won the TV Land Award posthumously for the category "Favorite Pet-Human Relationship" as Mr. Ed.[8]


Lane died in California of cancer in 1973, at age 64.

Between 1965 and 1968 a celebrity comic was created around Rocky Lane's cowboy persona, written and drawn by Brazilian comics artist Primaggio Mantovi. [9]

Selected filmography


  • Mister Ed, 1961–1966 syndicated and later CBS TV series. Lane provided the voice for Mister Ed. This was an uncredited role.
  • Red Ryder, 1956–1957 TV series. Lane portrayed Red Ryder
Guest appearances
  • Cheyenne, episode "Massacre at Gunsight Pass", originally aired May 1, 1961
  • Gunsmoke, episode "Long Hours, Short Pay", originally aired April 29, 1961
  • Bonanza, episode "The Blood Line", originally aired December 31, 1960
  • Gunsmoke, episode "The Badge", originally aired November 12, 1960
  • Lawman, episode "The Payment", originally aired May 8, 1960
  • Bronco, episode "Death of an Outlaw", originally aired March 8, 1960
  • Colt .45, episode "Arizona Anderson", originally aired February 14, 1960
  • Tales of Wells Fargo, episode "The Reward", originally aired April 21, 1958
  • Wagon Train, episode "The Daniel Barrister Story", originally aired April 16, 1958
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode "Lamb to the Slaughter", originally aired April 13, 1958
  • Gunsmoke, episode "Texas Cowboys", originally aired April 5, 1958
  • Mike Hammer, episode "Husbands Are Bad Luck", originally aired 1957


  1. Rowan, Terry (2015). Who's Who In Hollywood!. p. 212. ISBN 9781329074491. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  2. 1910 U.S. Census, St. Joseph County, Indiana
  3. Allan Lane profile
  4. "The Voice of Mister Ed". Archived from the original on 2017-12-22. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. Fyne, Robert (1997). The Hollywood Propaganda of World War II. Scarecrow Press. p. 133. ISBN 9780810833104. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  6. Boggs, Johnny D. (2013). Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012. McFarland. p. 112. ISBN 9780786465552. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  7. "(question and answer)". Quad-City Times. Iowa, Davenport. 9 May 2004. p. 90. Retrieved December 21, 2017 via
  8. IMDb profile for Allan Lane
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.