59 (passed away May. 12th, 1992)
Oct. 19th, 1932
Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Robert Reed's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Robert Reed starred as a hotshot lawyer in The Defenders with E. G. Marshall, and on The Brady Bunch he played a man named Brady who was busy with three boys of his own. He also played John Travolta's father in the classic TV weepy The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, and he was one of private eye Mike Connors' contacts on the police force in Mannix. Reed was trained in Shakespeare, and did his share of Broadway and regional theater, but TV work paid better. Still, he made himself a persistent pain to Sherwood Schwartz, The Brady Bunch's producer, nagging for years that the show should be more realistic, and growing frustrated when scripts called for a pie fight. Reed rarely answered questions about his personal life, keeping his homosexuality a secret all his life. Some accounts have suggested that he spent most of his life alone, cruising gay bars around Pasadena but having no real romantic relationships after his marriage ended in 1959. Robert Reed grew up in Oklahoma, where his family raised cattle and turkeys. He played basketball in high school, but enjoyed the drama club more. He studied acting at Northwestern, and attempted to play the role of husband when he married a college classmate in 1957, and had a daughter. When Reed's daughter was in ninth grade, she appeared on one episode of The Brady Bunch as a girl at Marcia's slumber party, and became friends with Susan Olsen, but father and real-life daughter didn't become close until she was an adult. By all accounts, though, Reed was a great influence on the kids who played his children on The Brady Bunch. He once took all six Brady kids on a vacation to New York and London aboard the QE2 cruise-liner. He also gave all his TV children Super 8 movie cameras -- the era's high-tech moviemaking toy. Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby Brady, remembers this as a turning point -- he grew up to become a camera operator. Reed's eldest TV son, Barry Williams, helped make the arrangements for Reed's memorial service, and saw Reed the day before he died. "I got to tell him three things," he said. "that things were good in my life in part because of what I learned from him, that I appreciated our friendship, and that I loved him." Reed directed one film, a 1979 tale of misfit toys at Christmas called Quincy's Quest. Father: John Rietz (farmer)
Mother: Helen Rietz (farmer)
Wife: Marilyn Rosenberg (actress, m. 1957, div. 1959)
Daughter: Karen Baldwin (b. 1958)
- An only child, he attended high school in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where, at age 17, he wrote and produced for local radio stations and sometimes worked as an announcer.
- His Shakespearean background included roles in "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as part of an off-Broadway company called "The Shakespearewrights." Toward the end of his life he taught a course in Shakespearean acting at UCLA.
- Lived outside of the Beverly Hills scene in Pasadena.
- In one of his last interviews, he revealed that he actually detested _"The Brady Bunch" (1969)_ (qv), and that his role as Mike Brady embarrassed him.
- Transferred to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, UK.
- Met wife Marilyn Rosenberg while both were college students and drama majors at Northwestern University. The marriage lasted only two years, producing a daughter, 'Caroline Reed' (qv).
- Frequently walked off the set of _"The Brady Bunch" (1969)_ (qv), due to arguments with series creator/producer 'Sherwood Schwartz' (qv). In addition, he sent voluminous memos to Schwartz, detailing his unhappiness with the writing and directing on the show. Schwartz put up with this only because Reed's instincts usually turned out to be right. (Reed would eventually direct a handful of episodes himself.)
- Was written out of the final episode of _"The Brady Bunch" (1969)_ (qv) due to his disapproval of the script in which Greg's hair turns orange as a result of a cheap hair tonic.
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