Connie Hines, 78, 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 talking horse.

Ms. Hines died last Friday at her home in Beverly Hills from complications of heart problems, said Alan Young, her Mr. Ed costar.

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 Ms. Hines trying to make the most of her opportunities.

Ms. Hines was born in Dedham, Mass. In Young's 2007 book Mr. Ed and Me and More, Ms. 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," Ms. Hines wrote.

Ms. Hines got some work modeling and appearing in commercials, then landed a romantic leading role in a CBS anthology series Rendezvous that was shot in Europe.

"When I came back to New York, CBS told me I should go to Hollywood and would do well there," Ms. Hines wrote. "So in 1959 with $200 in my pocket, and armed with two letters of introduction . . . I flew to Hollywood."

She won a role in the 1960 film Thunder in Carolina, which Ms. Hines called "a forgettable feature . . . about stock car racing," and some episodic television appearances in shows such as Johnny Ringo and The Millionaire in 1959 and Sea Hunt and Riverboat in 1960, then she got her big break with Mr. Ed.

After Mr. Ed finished, Ms. Hines worked on television sporadically in such shows as Medical Center, Mod Squad and Bonanza. - Los Angeles Times