Tim Reid

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Tim Reid
Reid in 2012
Timothy Lee Reid

(1944-12-19) December 19, 1944 (age 78)
Alma materNorfolk State University
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian, director
Years active1968–present
  • Rita Sykes
    (m. 1966; div. 1980)
  • (m. 1982)

Tim Reid[1] (born December 19, 1944)[2] is an American actor, comedian and film director best known for his roles in prime time American television programs, such as Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–82), Marcel "Downtown" Brown on Simon & Simon (1983–87), Ray Campbell on Sister, Sister (1994–99) and William Barnett on That '70s Show (2004–06). Reid starred in a CBS series, Frank's Place, as a professor who inherits a Louisiana restaurant. Reid is the founder and president of Legacy Media Institute, a non-profit organization "dedicated to bringing together leading professionals in the film and television industry, outstanding actors, and young men and women who wish to pursue a career in the entertainment media".[3]

Early years[edit]

Reid was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in the Crestwood area of Chesapeake, formerly Norfolk County, Virginia. He is the son of William Lee and Augustine (née Wilkins) Reid. He had experienced segregation growing up in Norfolk, the majority of businesses around him being black-owned.[4][1] He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at Norfolk State College in 1968. Reid also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he was hired by Dupont Corporation, where he worked for three years.[5]

Reid's entertainment career also began in 1968. He and insurance salesman Tom Dreesen met at a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting near Chicago.[6] They were "put together to promote an anti-drug program in the local schools" and, prompted by a comment from a child, decided to form a comedy team.[6] The team, later billed as "Tim and Tom", was the first interracial comedy duo. Years later, Reid and Dreesen wrote a book about those years called Tim & Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White (2008, ISBN 978-0-226-70900-0), co-written with sports writer Ron Rapoport.[7][8]

Television acting career[edit]

Reid started out on the short-lived The Richard Pryor Show. Reid starred as DJ "Venus Flytrap" on the hit CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, in what is perhaps his best known TV role. Reid starred as Lieutenant Marcel Proust "Downtown" Brown (episodes 43-127) on the CBS detective series Simon & Simon. In 1988, Reid won an award from Viewers for Quality Television Awards as "Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series" in Frank's Place. In 1988, the same role earned him an Image Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series".[9]

Reid played the adult Mike Hanlon in the 1990 television mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's epic horror novel It. He made an appearance as Sgt. Ray Bennett of the Seacouver Police Department in three first-season episodes of Highlander: The Series. He had a starring role in the series Sister, Sister as Ray Campbell for the entire six-season run. On April 13, 2009, Reid appeared opposite former co-star Tamera Mowry on the short-lived ABC Family series Roommates as Mr. Daniels. Reid had a recurring role on That '70s Show as William Barnett.[10]


Reid has directed various television programs, as well the 1996 film Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored, based on a similarly titled memoir by Clifton L. Taulbert. Reid directed and adapted a children's TV show called Bobobobs that aired in the late 1980s. He is the creator of Stop the Madness, an after-school special video in the fight against drugs recorded on December 11, 1985.[11]

New Millennium Studios[edit]

Tim and Daphne Maxwell Reid built New Millennium Studios in 1997. Located in Petersburg, Virginia, the 57.4-acre site with its 14,850-square-foot sound studio was both the only Black-owned film studio in the United States since the 1930s, but also one of the largest independent film studios outside of Hollywood.

New Millennium Studios was used in dozens of movie and television productions, including scenes from the 2001 film Hearts in Atlantis of the Stephen King book of the same name; parts of 2000's The Contender and elements of Steven Spielberg's 2012 film Lincoln were all shot there. The Reids also produced feature films of their own.

Due to "a lack of incentives in the state" to bring film production to Virginia, the Reids sold the property in March 2015 for $1.475 million to Four Square Property Management LLC, a company formed by Four Square Industrial Constructors, based in Chester, Virginia.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Daphne and Tim Reid in 1997

In 1966, Reid married Rita Ann Sykes; they divorced on May 9, 1980. They have two children together: Timothy II (born 1968) and Tori Reid (born 1971). On December 4, 1982, he married actress Daphne Maxwell Reid.

In July 2011, Reid was named to the board of directors of the American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works.[13] On May 10, 2014, Reid received a Virginia Commonwealth University honorary doctorate for his many outstanding and distinguished contributions after he delivered a commencement speech.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Reid served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute. A native Virginian, Reid resides in Glensheallah, Portsmouth, Virginia.[14][15]


Year Film Role Notes
1974 That's My Mama Rev. Armbruster Episode:"Clifton's Persuasion "
1976 Mother, Jugs & Speed Unity Dispatcher uncredited
1976 Rhoda Kitchen Helper Episode: "Guess Who I Saw Today"
1977 Fernwood 2 Night Matthew Johnson Episode: "#1.43"
1977 The Richard Pryor Show Blind Man Episode: "#1.2"
1977 Lou Grant TV Cameraman Episode: "Hostages"
1977 What's Happening!! Dr. Claymore Episode: "It's All in Your Head"
1977 Maude Policeman Episode: "Maude's Christmas Surprise"
1978 ABC Weekend Specials Tillson Episode: "Little Lulu"
1978–1982 WKRP in Cincinnati Venus Flytrap 83 episodes
1979 You Can't Take It with You Donald TV movie
1982 Benson Russell DuBois Episode: "Thy Brother's Keeper"
1983 Teachers Only Michael Horne 13 episodes
1983–1987 Simon & Simon Det. Marcel 'Downtown' Brown 79 episodes
1985 Code Name: Foxfire unknown Episode: "Robin's Egg Blues"
1987 Matlock Danny Miller Episode: "The Court-Martial: Part 1 and 2"
1987–1988 Frank's Place Frank Parish 22 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy (shared with Hugh Wilson)
VQT Award for Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series
Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series
1989 Dead Bang Chief Dixon
1989–1990 Snoops Chance Dennis 13 episodes
1990 The Fourth War Lt. Col. Clark
1990 Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer Jack Barnett TV movie
1990 Stephen King's It Mike Hanlon TV miniseries
1991 Zorro Dr. Lorenzo Lozano Episode: "Wicked, Wicked Zorro"
1992 Just Deserts Scott Waring TV pilot episode
1992 The New WKRP in Cincinnati Venus Flytrap Episode: "Venus, We Hardly Knew Ya"
1992 Mastergate Chip Chatworth TV movie
1992 You Must Remember This Joe TV movie
1992–1993 Highlander: The Series Sgt. Bennett 3 episodes
1993 Say a Little Prayer Thug
1994–1999 Sister, Sister Ray Campbell 114 episodes
1994 Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Frederick Douglass
1995 Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again Downtown Brown TV movie
1995 Out-of-Sync Det. Wilson
1996 Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Debut as a film director
1997 Touched by an Angel Buddy Baker Episode:"Last Call"
1998 Linc's As creator and co-executive producer
2000 Alley Cats Strike Mayor Jeffery "Jeff" McLemore Disney Channel Original Movie
2002 Las Vegas Warrior Doorman 2
2003 You Wish! Larry Pendragon Disney Channel Original Movie
2003 For Real Mac Also director
2004–2006 That '70s Show William Barnett 9 episodes
2005 Preaching to the Choir Prophet
2005 The Reading Room Douglas TV movie
2006 That's So Raven Sheriff Jefferson Episode: "Driving Miss Lazy"
2007 Trade Hank Jefferson
2009 Roommates Mr. Stanley Daniels Episode: "The Break-In"
2010 The Cost of Heaven Richard Ginyard
2010–2012 Treme Judge John A. Gatling 4 episodes
2012 The Soul Man Henry Episode: "Loving Las Vegas"
2013 Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions Pastor Brown
2013 Habeas Corpus Ray Senior Short film
2016 By the Grace of Bob JJ Barnes
2016 Limitless Astrophysicist Sturgeon Reid Episode: "Close Encounters"
2016 Tri Miles
2016 93 Days Dr. Adeniyi Jones
2016 Chasing Waterfalls Quincy TV movie
2016 The Rooftop Christmas Tree Dale Landis TV movie
2016 Crushed Russell Black TV movie
2017–2018 Greenleaf Bishop Lionel Jeffries 5 episodes
2017–2018 Me, Myself & I Older Darryl 3 episodes
2018 Love Is_ "Wiser" Sean Episode: "(His) Answers"
2018 My Christmas Inn Perry Taylor TV movie
2019 Grey's Anatomy Julian Episode: "I Walk the Line"
2019 Radio Christmas Garrett TV movie
2019 Dolly Parton's Heartstrings Kendal Hooks Episode: "If I Had Wings"[16]
2019 Check Inn to Christmas Blake TV movie
2019 Baking Christmas Phillip TV movie
2020 A Welcome Home Christmas General O'Toole TV movie
2021 Swagger Clyde Sawyer 3 episodes
2022 A New Orleans Noel Marcel Lirette TV movie
2024 Stream Dave Burham [17]


  1. ^ a b "Tim Reid Biography (1944-)". Film Reference. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Newcomb, Horace (February 3, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television. Routledge. ISBN 9781135194727.
  3. ^ Legacy Media Institute.
  4. ^ "Tim Reid". February 4, 2005.
  5. ^ Tim Reid profile Archived October 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Museum of Broadcast Communications website; accessed January 11, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Todd Leopold, "'WKRP' vet Reid, standup Dreesen's previous life", CNN, October 2, 2008.
  7. ^ Tim and Tom page at The University Press of Chicago.
  8. ^ "Tim Reid Biography" at IMDb.
  9. ^ Tim Reid profile; accessed November 26, 2007.
  10. ^ Tim Reid at IMDb
  11. ^ ""STOP THE MADNESS" (1985, 1986) anti-drug music video", YouTube.
  12. ^ Hallman, Randy (May 8, 2015). "Reids sell New Millennium Studios property in Petersburg".
  13. ^ "Actor, studio founder Tim Reid named to board of Virginia Civil War center", This Week in the Civil War, This Week in the Civil War.
  14. ^ National Student Film Institute/L.A: The Sixteenth Annual Los Angeles Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. June 10, 1994. pp. 10–11.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  15. ^ Los Angeles Student Film Institute: 13th Annual Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. June 7, 1991. p. 3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (November 30, 2018). "Brooke Elliott, Ben Lawson, Michele Weaver & Gerald McRaney Star In "If I Had Wings," Part Of Dolly Parton Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  17. ^ Miska, Brad (December 5, 2022). "'Stream' – Guitarist Paul Wiley to Score New Horror Movie from the Producers of 'Terrifier'! [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 2, 2023.

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