Monday, August 20, 2007

Alan Reed - 100th Anniversary

A nod today to Alan Reed, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Before you say “Fred Flintstone,” remember that Mr. Reed was a prolific television and radio actor who mastered a number of accents and portrayed many different characters before Fred became his calling card.

He began on Broadway, and in between radio gigs he left us a few films to remember him by, including film noir “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946), the Bing Crosby musical “Here Comes the Groom” (1951), suspense drama “The Desperate Hours” (1955), and a turn as Pancho Villa in “Viva Zapata!” (1952). He was the mobster, Sally Tomato, in prison and with a soft spot for Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

His deep, rumbly, playful voice, no matter the dialect he used or the character he portrayed, was easily recognizable. It was a wonderful voice, just made for radio, and gave Fred Flintstone his working man’s élan. Reportedly, “Yabba dabba doo!” was a catch phrase coined by Mr. Reed.

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