Alan Reed

Alan Reed (born Herbert Theodore Bergman; August 20, 1907 – June 14, 1977)[1] was an American actor and voice actor, best known as the original voice of Fred Flintstone on The Flintstones and various spinoff series. He also appeared in many films, including Days of Glory, The Tarnished Angels, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Viva Zapata! (as Pancho Villa), and Nob Hill, and various television and radio series.

Alan Reed
Alanreed.jpg
Born
Herbert Theodore Bergman

(1907-08-20)August 20, 1907
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 14, 1977(1977-06-14) (aged 69)
Other namesAlan Reed Sr.
Teddy Bergman
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
Columbia University
OccupationActor, voice actor
Years active1930–1977
Spouse(s)
Finnette Walker (m. 1932)
Children3

Early yearsEdit

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.[2] He attended Washington High School[3] (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.[4] He began his acting career in the city, eventually working on Broadway.

For several years, Reed toured in vaudeville with his cousin, Harry Green.[5] 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."[4]

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.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

Radio and stageEdit

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."[6]

Reed's radio work included having two roles in Valiant Lady,[7] 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, and 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,"[8] and "was the original Daddy to Fanny Brice on Baby Snooks."[9] Billed as Teddy Bergman, he had the title role on Joe Palooka.[9]

Billed as Teddy Bergman, Reed appeared on Broadway in Double Dummy (1936), and A House in the Country (1937),[10] and Love's Old Sweet Song (1940).[11]

Television and voice actingEdit

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.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

In May 1932, Reed married the former Finette Walker[13] (1909–2005), a Broadway actress whom he met at television station W2XAB (later WCBS-TV) in New York City.[3] 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.[14] 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.

DeathEdit

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,[15] but he later developed emphysema and died of a heart attack on June 14, 1977, two months before his 70th birthday.[15] His body was donated to medical research.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1937 Porky's Romance Opening announcer (voice) Short film
Teddy Bergman's Bar-B-Q Teddy Bergman
1944 Days of Glory Sasha
1945 Nob Hill Dapper Jack Harrigan
1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice Ezra Liam Kennedy
1950 Perfect Strangers Harry Patullo
Emergency Wedding Barber
1952 The Redhead and the Cowboy Col. Lamartine
Here Comes the Groom Walter Godfrey
1953 Viva Zapata! Pancho Villa
Actor's and Sin J.B. Cobb Segment "Woman of Sin"
1953 Pickup on South Street Detective Uncredited
I, the Jury George Kalecki
Geraldine Frederick Sterling
1954 Woman's World Tomaso
1955 The Far Horizons Charboneau
Lady and the Tramp Boris (voice)
Kiss of Fire Sergeant Diego
The Desperate Hours Detective
1956 Time Table Al Wolfe
The Revolt of Mamie Stover Captain Gorecki
He Laughed Last Big Dan Hennessy
1957 The Tarnished Angels Colonel Fineman
1958 Marjorie Morningstar Puddles Podell
1959 1001 Arabian Nights The Sultan (voice)
1960 Stop! Look! and Laugh Prince (voice) Uncredited
1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's Sally Tomato
1966 The Man Called Flintstone Fred Flintstone (voice)
1969 Get Smart Little girl (voice) Uncredited
A Dream of Kings Fig King
1971 Shinbone Alley Big Bill (voice)
1978 The Seniors Professor Heigner Final role, posthumous release

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1958 Make Room for Daddy Joe Ferbus Episode: "The Reunion"
1959 Have Gun – Will Travel Dirks the Clamjumper Episode: "Gold and Brimstone"
1960 Peter Gunn Garson Episode: "The Maître d"
Make Room for Daddy Howard Sloan Episode: "The Apple Polishers"
1960–1966 The Flintstones Fred Flintstone, Professor Von Messerschmidt, J.L. Gothrocks, The Prowler, Grandpa Rocky Flintstone (voices) Recurring role
1962–1963 The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series Dum Dum (voice) 52 episodes
Touché Turtle and Dum Dum
1963 The Dick Van Dyke Show Auctioneer Episode: "The Masterpiece"
My Favorite Martian Councilman Jack Gramby Episode: "The Awful Truth"
1964 Hoppity Hooper Additional voices Episode: "Ring-A-Ding Spring"
1964–1968 The Beverly Hillbillies Gene Booth Episodes: "Teenage Idol", "The Great Tag-Team Match"
1966 Space Ghost Glasstor Episode: "Glasstor"
Alice in Wonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? The Talking Caterpillar (Fred Flintstone) (voice) Television film
The Impossibles Smogula 1 episode
1967 Batman General MacGruder Episode: "Penguin Sets a Trend"
1968 Petticoat Junction The Bandit Episode: "Bad Day at Shady Rest"
1970 Where's Huddles? Mad Dog Mahoney (voice) 10 episodes
1971 The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show Fred Flintstone (voice) 16 episodes
1972 The Flintstone Comedy Hour Fred Flintstone 18 episodes
1975 The Story of Heidi Sebastian, Mr. Usher (voices) English version
1977 Laff-A-Lympics Fred Flintstone (voice)
Energy: A National Issue Television film
1977–1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Additional voices 39 episodes
Final television role

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Alan Reed profile". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  2. ^ "Fred Flintstone: A Stone Age Star With A Jewish Voice." Jewish Humor Central.com, October 10, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, Bill Jr. (April 24, 1932). "Airy Chats". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. E9. Retrieved December 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 
  4. ^ a b Witte, Lawrence (December 9, 1960). "Static". Denton Journal. p. 10. Retrieved December 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 
  5. ^ Cox, Jim (2007). Radio Speakers: Narrators, News Junkies, Sports Jockeys, Tattletales, Tipsters, Toastmasters and Coffee Klatch Couples Who Verbalized the Jargon of the Aural Ether from the 1920s to the 1980s—A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 234–235. ISBN 978-0-7864-6086-1.
  6. ^ "Henry and George In Lincoln". The Lincoln Star. August 3, 1930. p. D5. Retrieved December 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 
  7. ^ Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920–1950. The Viking Press. SBN 670-16240-x. P. 249.
  8. ^ "Fanny Brice on the Air Tonight". Belvidere Daily Republican. September 26, 1940. p. 8. Retrieved December 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 
  9. ^ a b DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2.
  10. ^ "Teddy Bergman". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  11. ^ "CBS Actor Has Head Shaved for Summer". El Paso Herald-Post. May 31, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved December 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 
  12. ^ Cerny, JoBe (May 11, 2015). "Icons of Advertising". Screen. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  13. ^ "Behind the Microphone" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 1, 1932. p. 19. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Finette Walker: Performer." Playbill Vault Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Thomas, Nick (September 23, 2015). "Alan Reed Jr. remembers 'The Flintstones' at 55". USA Today. Retrieved November 1, 2017.

Further readingEdit

  • Reed, Alan. The Alan Reed Story. Albany, Georgia: BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-313-4
  • Terrace, Vincent. Radio Programs, 1924–1984. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9

External linksEdit