Friday, June 28, 2013

Godspeed Elliott Reid

Elliott Reid, who appeared in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and shows such as The Wild Wild West, died 21 June 2013 at the age of 93.

Elliott Reid was born Edgeworth Reid on 16 January 1920 in New York City. He was a veteran of Old Time Radio, making his debut on The March of Time in 1935. He was one of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre troupe, and appeared on their radio show The Mercury Theatre on the Air. He also appeared on the radio shows The Cavalcade of America, Theatre Guild on the Air, Suspense, and CBS Radio Mystery Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar in 1937. In 1938 he appeared in a production of The Shoemakers' Holiday on Broadway. Mr. Reid made his film debut in The Ramparts We Watch in 1940.

In the Forties Mr. Reid appeared in the films Young Ideas (1943), The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944), A Double Life (1947), and Sierra (1950). He made his television debut on Kraft Theatre in 1947. On Broadway he appeared in a production of Macbeth in 1948 and in Two Blind Mice in 1949 and The Live Wire in 1950. In the Fifties he appeared in the films The Whip Hand (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Vicki (1953), Woman's World (1954), and Inherit the Wind (1960). He guest starred on such on such shows as Robert Montgomery Presents, Campbell Summer Soundstage, Goodyear Television Playhouse, The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, Climax!, The Ford Television Theatre, I Love Lucy, Lux Video Theatre, Our Miss Brooks, The Phil Silvers Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Millionaire, The U. S. Steel Hour, Perry Mason, and Make Room For Daddy.  He appeared on Broadway in Two in the Aisle and From A to Z.

In the Sixties Mr. Reid was a regular on the American version of That Was the Week That Was. He guest starred on such shows as The Roaring 20's, Surfside 6, Margie, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Defenders, The Munsters, The Lucy Show, The Wild Wild West, The Governor & J.J., The Good Guys, Here's Lucy, and Love American Style. He appeared in the movies The Absent Minded Professor (1961), Son of Flubber (1963), The Thrill of It All (1963), The Wheeler Dealers (1963), Move Over, Darling (1963), Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963), Follow Me, Boys! (1966), Blackbeard's Ghost (1968), and Some Kind of a Nut (1969).

In the Seventies Elliott Reid was a regular on Miss Winslow and Son. He guest starred on such shows as The Odd Couple, The New Temperatures Rising, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Lotsa Luck, Barney Miller, Doc, All in the Family, James at 16, Rosetti and Ryan, and One in a Million. He appeared in the film Heaven Can Wait (1978). From the Eighties into the Nineties he appeared on such shows as Tales of the Unexpected, After MASH, Designing Women, It's a Living, Murder She Wrote, Seinfeld, and Maybe This Time. He appeared in the film Young Einstein (1988).

Elliott Reid could perhaps best be described as a character actor with the looks of a leading man. This is perhaps why he so often played what could be best described as sophisticated authority figures. Over the years Mr. Reid played a number of journalists, TV newsmen, professors, doctors, and similar types. He played the private detective investigating Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe), Ernie Malone, in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He played the press agent accused of murder,  Steve Christopher, in the film noir Vicki. On I Love Lucy episode "The Ricardos Are Interviewed" he played a TV journalist named Edward Warren who was obviously based on Edward R. Murrow. Playing these various roles was perhaps made all the more easier for Elliott Reid was his incredibly versatile voice. Indeed, he was a great impressionist who could mimic such diverse individuals as John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and radio personality Paul Harvey. Few actors ever possessed the talent or voice or Elliott Reid, and few ever will.

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