Robert Reed

October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992

There is no shortage of irony in the fact that the actor portraying “America’s Dad” – beloved television character, Mike Brady – wanted to be literally anywhere but there in that iconic TV house, with his iconic TV family. Robert Reed was a classically trained Shakespearean actor who studied at the Royal Academy of  Dramatic Arts (RADA) and made a name for himself replacing Robert Redford in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park on Broadway. Barefoot, along with a growing handful of successful television appearances, gained him a contract at Paramount Pictures and the opportunity to star in a new, ground-breaking sitcom called The Brady Bunch.

Alongside Florence Henderson‘s Carol, Reed lovingly led the first-ever blended television family through countless silly and gag-filled stories for the show’s original 5-year run. Reed immediately had issues with the lack of anything resembling depth in the scripts and constantly butted heads with showrunner, Sherwood Schwartz. So much so that Schwartz planned to replace Reed in the the sixth season…which was never made. Critics were, at best, indifferent toward the show, but audiences LOVED it. And any animosity Reed had off-camera was nowhere to be found in his heartfelt portrayal of Mr. Brady.

Despite all of the behind-the-scenes drama between Reed and Schwartz, Robert got along well with his co-stars, acting as a real-life father figure to many of the young actors. After the show ended, Reed continued to work in the theater. He made many guest starring appearances on more dramatic television shows and was nominated for 3 Emmy awards – including for the landmark miniseries, Roots. Realizing the icon that Mike Brady had become, Reed agreed to reprise the role in several spin-offs and movies throughout the 1970’s and ’80s.

Reed hid the fact that he was gay for his entire life. He was married for 5 years to a woman and had a daughter, but maintained a very private personal life throughout his career and life. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1991 and died from the disease – along with complications from a previously unannounced HIV-positive diagnosis – at the age of 59. Whether he would have appreciated it fully or not, America had lost one of its most beloved dads.


Memorial Park Cemetery – Skokie, IL

Specific Location

Annex 6, Lot 21 – Enter the cemetery and turn left after the office. Continue to the left until you pass the chapel on your right. On your left are a series of Annex gardens. Stop at the one marked “Annex 1-9”. Robert is buried in the southern half of this section, toward the middle. To find Robert from the east: locate a tallish marker with the name AVERSMAN on it and walk toward the center of the section even with this marker. To find him from the west: find the markers with ANSPACH and SCHICK and walk toward the middle of the section between them.


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