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Subject: ARCHIVE: June 14, 1977 ~ARCHIVE: June 14, 1977 ~ALAN REED, Veteran character and voice actor of 30+ screen roles including "The Postman Rings Twice", "Lady and the Tramp" (voice), "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and likely best known as the original voice of 'Fred Flintstone' on TV's "The Flintstones", succumbing after long battles w/cancer, emphysema, dying from a heart attack at age 69. ...
[Herbert Theodore Bergman]
(August 20, 1907 – June 14, 1977)
Early years ...
Reed was born Herbert Theodore Bergman in New York City to Jewish parents.
His father was a Lithuanian-Jewish immigrant and his mother was born in the
United States to Ukrainian-Jewish parents from Galicia. He attended Washington High School
(now George Washington Educational Campus) and majored in journalism at Columbia University. ...
...Between graduating from WHS and entering Columbia, he studied drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He began his acting career in the city, eventually working on Broadway. For several years, Reed toured in vaudeville with his cousin, Harry Green. He also had two other jobs—operating a wholesale candy factory and working at the Copake Country Club as "social director, entertainment producer and actor." For a time, he continued to list himself either as Teddy Bergman or Alan Reed, depending on the role he was playing (Reed for more comedic roles, Bergman for more serious ones). He was able to act in 22 foreign dialects, and made a career as a successful radio announcer and stage actor.
Radio and stage ...
As early as 1930, Reed (billed as Teddy Bergman) co-starred with Herbert Polesie in Henry and George,
a CBS program that featured "minute dramas, popular laughmakers ... interspersed with dance
music selections." Reed's radio work included having two roles in Valiant Lady, the role of Solomon Levy
on Abie's Irish Rose, as the "Allen's Alley" resident poet Falstaff Openshaw on Fred Allen's NBC radio show. ...
...Later on his own five-minute show, Falstaff's Fables, on ABC, as Officer Clancey and other occasional roles on the NBC radio show Duffy's Tavern, as Shrevey the driver on several years of The Shadow, as Chester Riley's boss on the NBC radio show The Life of Riley, as Italian immigrant Pasquale in Life with Luigi on CBS radio, various supporting roles on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, and as Lt. Walter Levinson in several episodes of Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Reed was "heard regularly on the Crime Doctor series," and "was the original Daddy to Fanny Brice on Baby Snooks." Billed as Teddy Bergman, he had the title role on Joe Palooka. Billed as Teddy Bergman, Reed appeared on Broadway in Double Dummy (1936), and A House in the Country (1937), and Love's Old Sweet Song (1940). In films, he had a comic Runyonesque appeal and played in such fare as The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951), Emergency Wedding (1950), and Here Comes the Groom (1951).
...His more dramatic roles came with The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and The Desperate Hours (1955).
One of his most unusual parts was his portrayal of Pancho Villa in Viva Zapata! (1952) starring Marlon Brando.
Television and voice acting ...
From 1957 to 1958, Reed appeared in a recurring role as J.B. Hafter, a studio boss, on the CBS sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino, then married in real life, but appearing as a fictitious acting couple living in Beverly Hills, California. He also played the same character in The Bob Cummings Show. In 1963, he appeared as Councilman Jack Gramby in episode 8 of the CBS sitcom My Favorite Martian. In 1964–65, he had a recurring role as Mr. Swidler in the ABC sitcom Mickey, starring Mickey Rooney as the owner of a resort hotel in Newport Beach, California.
...As a voice actor, Reed provided the voice of Boris the Russian Wolfhound in Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp in 1955. In 1960, he began the voice role for Fred Flintstone, the lead character of Hanna-Barbera's prime-time animated series The Flintstones. Reed provided Fred's voice for the entire six-season run of the show, as well as in several spin-off series (The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, The Flintstone Comedy Hour) and specials. His final performance as Fred Flintstone was a cameo guest role on an episode of Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. Among his other voice roles for Hanna-Barbera was Touché Turtle's sidekick, Dum Dum.
Radio playwright and director Norman Corwin cast Reed as Santa Claus in the 1969 KCET television reading of his 1938 play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.
In television commercials Reed was the voice over for J.J. Keebler, a creation of the Leo Burnett Agency.
Personal life & Death ...
In May 1932, Reed married the former Finette Walker (1909–2005), a Broadway actress whom he met at television station W2XAB (later WCBS-TV) in New York City. She appeared on stage in the early 1930s and was a chorus member in the original 1934 Broadway production of Anything Goes with Ethel Merman. They had three sons, including actor Alan Reed, Jr. (born May 10, 1936). Once his son started acting, Reed took the professional name Alan Reed, Sr. Reed, who was a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1967. He underwent an operation to have the organ removed, which successfully eradicated the cancer, but he later developed emphysema and died of a heart attack on June 14, 1977, two months before his 70th birthday. His body was donated to medical research.