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Connie Hines, 'Mr. Ed' actress, dies at 78

LOS ANGELES - Connie Hines, an actress in the 1960s TV show "Mr. Ed," has died. She portrayed Carol Post, whose husband, Wilbur, was the only person who could converse with Mr. Ed, the eponymous taking horse. She was 78.

Hines died Friday at her home in Beverly Hills from complications from heart problems, said Alan Young, her "Mr. Ed" co-star.

"I lost a great friend. She was always joyous," Young said.

In the show, which ran from 1961 to 1966 on CBS, the Posts moved into a rambling country home only to find a horse in their barn. The center of the show became the banter between Young and Mr. Ed, which left Hines trying to make the most of her opportunities.

The part was "a tough chore," Young said. "She was a girl married to a fellow listening to a horse. Her biggest line was 'lunch is ready.' The rest of it was reacting to it. Connie never complained."

Hines was born March 24, 1931, in Dedham, Mass. In Young's 2007 book "Mr. Ed and Me and More," Hines wrote a section about her career, describing her childhood in a show business family. "I was bitten by the bug when I played the part of Mary to my father's Clarence Day in 'Life With Father' on stage in Boston," Hines wrote.

Hines first got work modeling and appearing in commercials, then landed a romantic leading role in a CBS series "Rendezvous." Hines had episodic television appearances in shows such as "Johnny Ringo" and "The Millionaire" in 1959 and "Sea Hunt" and "Riverboat" in 1960, then got her big break with "Mr. Ed."

She didn't have a phone in her apartment, so when her agent said the producers were going to call, she waited for the news at a gas station. After "Mr. Ed" finished, Hines worked on such shows as "Mod Squad" and "Bonanza." In 1970, she married Lee Savin, a lawyer and producer. Savin died in 1995.

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