Beloved by television audiences for her roles on such popular series as Mr. Ed and Topper, actress Edna Skinner was also a renowned authority on the subject of fly-fishing. A native of Washington, D.C., whose show-business start came in vaudeville and club performances throughout Manhattan, Skinner had a voice which became a familiar sound to radio listeners thanks to numerous early character voices and sound effects. She was later hired as a singer by Rodgers & Hammerstein and took over the role of Ado Annie (originally essayed by Celeste Holm) in the composers' Broadway production of Oklahoma!, which ultimately became her breakout role. After organizing war bond rallies during WWII, Skinner played the role of neighbor Kay Allison in Mr. Ed. In the realm of feature films, the actress appeared in Easy to Love (1953) and Friendly Persuasion (1956) in addition to a handful of other films. Outside of her film work, the longtime angler wrote more than 280 articles for fishing and sports magazines and dedicated much of her free time to fly-fishing. Skinner died of heart failure August 8, 2003, in North Bend, OR. She was 82.
by Jason Buchanan biography