d. May 12, 1992
Robert Reed, born John Robert Rietz, Jr., in the northeast Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois. was a prolific American character actor of stage, film and television. In his first big break, he played Kenneth Preston on the popular 1960s TV legal drama, The Defenders, alongside E. G. Marshall. But he was best remembered for portraying the father, Mike Brady, on the long-running 1970s sitcom, The Brady Bunch, from 1969 to 1974. He also had a recurring role as Lt. Adam Tobias on Mannix
John began acting in college, where he performed in more than 8 plays in college all with leading roles and mastered Shakespeare as well. He practiced his skills for a camera while revealing a rarely seen, comical side. While he was working hard in college, he was keeping a private secret. He would not reveal that he was gay, especially to his best friend, Tam Spiva. Despite his sexual orientation, he was dating a woman.
When he became an actor, he adopted the stage name Robert Reed.
Like many gay actors and others of the time, Reed was married, to Marilyn Rosenberg (1954–1959). The couple had one daughter, Karen Rietz, who was born in 1956. Karen had a small role in an episode of The Brady Bunch entitled "The Slumber Caper." Her character's name was Karen and she is credited as "Carolyn Reed." This episode also reunited Reed with his co-star from The Defenders, E. G. Marshall.
Reed felt his career required him to be secretive about his homosexuality. Nonetheless, most of the Brady Bunch cast members—most notably Barry Williams and Florence Henderson—knew of his sexual orientation, and expressed outrage at the media's exploitation of it after his death.