- NAME: Robert Reed
- OCCUPATION: Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: October 19, 1932
- DEATH DATE: May 12, 1992
- EDUCATION: Northwestern University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Highland Park, Illinois
- PLACE OF DEATH: Pasadena, California
- Full Name: John Robert Reitz Jr.
- AKA: John Robert Rietz
- AKA: John Rietz
- AKA: Robert Reed
Best Known For
American actor Robert Reed played quintessential family man Mike Brady in the popular sitcom The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974.
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Born in 1932, American actor Robert Reed studied acting at Northwestern University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He landed a role in the dramatic TV series The Defenders in 1961. Reed made his Broadway debut three years later in Barefoot in the Park. In 1969, he began his run as quintessential family man Mike Brady in the enduring sitcom The Brady Bunch. While still working on The Brady Bunch,
"Every television actor says the same thing when you ask him why he's doing theater: to work up the juices. But the basic reason is the script. In television, the scripts aren't very good."
"He was an unhappy person ... I think had Bob not been forced to live this double life, I think it would have dissipated a lot of that anger and frustration."
Reed concurrently acted in the L.A-based detective series Mannix. After The Brady Bunch went off the air, Reed tackled critically acclaimed roles in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and Roots (1977). He reprised his role of Mike Brady several times over the years, including in The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in the late 1970s and The Bradys in 1990. Reed died in 1992.
Born John Robert Rietz Jr. on October 19, 1932, in Highland Park, Illinois, actor Robert Reed is best remembered as one of television's most endearing dads. He originally aspired to be a serious actor before finding fame on the family sitcom The Brady Bunch. Reed studied his craft at Northwestern University. Moving to London, England, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for two years, in turn developing a passion for Shakespeare.
Returning to the United States, Reed joined an off-Broadway theatrical group called the Shakespearewrights, appearing in such plays as Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream with the troupe. He made his Broadway debut in 1964, taking over the leading role from Robert Redford in the Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park.
In addition to his stage work, Reed found success in TV acting, making his small-screen debut with a part as a young attorney on the courtroom drama The Defenders in 1961. Reed stayed with the show until its end in 1965. Around the same time, he had a recurring role on Dr. Kildare. The actor also made guest appearances on such shows as Ironsides.
In 1969, Robert Reed was cast as quintessential family man Mike Brady on the enduring sitcom The Brady Bunch. With a syrupy—albeit charming—view of suburban family life, The Brady Bunch (1969-74) became a cultural icon of the 1970s. Over its five-year run, the popularity of the series swelled to a phenomenal level, becoming increasingly well-known through re-runs in syndication.
Behind the scenes, though, Reed was unhappy with the show. He battled with its creator, Sherwood Schwartz, over its content. In a 1983 interview with The Associated Press, Reed said that he and Schwartz "fought over the scripts," and that he thought Schwartz filled the show with "just gag lines. That would have been what The Brady Bunch would have been if I hadn't protested." Despite his frustration with the sitcom, Reed developed close connections with his fellow cast members: He established a lifelong friendship with his TV wife, Florence Henderson, and served as a surrogate father figure to his TV children, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen.
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Learn more about the actors who portrayed one of 1970s television's most lovable families, the Bradys, by exploring our cast of The Brady Bunch collection. Cast members include Florence Henderson and Robert Reed, who played Carol and Mike Brady, respectively; Ann B. Davis, who played the family's beloved maid, Alice; Christopher Knight, who became a child star with the role of Bobby Brady; Maureen McCormick, the face of Marcia Brady; Mike Lookinland; Susan Olsen; Eve Plumb; and Barry Williams.
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