Alan Reed Sr.
Afrer majoring in journalism at Columbia University, beefy, gravel-voiced Alan Reed turned to acting at the Provincetown Playhouse. He went on to become one of the infant radio industry's busiest announcers, which led to his first movie gig as the narrator of the 1932 silent-film compilation Chase Me Charlie. A master of some 22 foreign dialects, Reed worked steadily on Broadway with the Theatre Guild. By the late '30s, he was billing himself under his real name of Teddy Bergman for comedy roles on radio programs like "The Eddie Cantor Show," and under his "nom de stage" of Alan Reed for dramatic series like "The Shadow." Becoming "Alan Reed" on a full-time basis in the early '40s, the actor gained famed for recurring radio roles like Falstaff Openshaw on the "Fred Allen Show," Pasquale on "Life With Luigi," and Mr. Clyde on "My Friend Irma." Reed was featured in both the radio and TV versions of Duffy's Tavern, playing Clancy the Cop on radio and the dim-witted Finnegan on TV. An occasional film actor, Reed was usually cast in extroverted comic roles; one of his few dramatic movie assignments was as Pancho Villa in Viva Zapata (1952). TV fans of the past 35 years will most closely associate Alan Reed with his work as the voice of Fred Flinstone on the popular prime time animated series The Flintstones (and incidentally, it was Reed who dreamed up Fred's famous catchphrase "Yabba dabba doo!").