Tracy Reed (English actress)

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Tracy Reed
Man of the World cast.JPG
Born Clare Tracy Compton Pelissier
(1942-09-21)21 September 1942
London, England, UK
Died 2 May 2012(2012-05-02) (aged 69)
County Cork, Ireland
Cause of death Liver cancer
Citizenship UK
Years active 1944-76
Spouse(s) Edward Fox (1958–61; divorced) 1 child
Neil Hallett (1970-73; divorced)
Bill Simpson (1974–82; divorced); 2 children
Christopher McCabe
Children Lucy Fox, Kelly Simpson, Katy Simpson
Parent(s) Anthony Pelissier
Penelope Dudley-Ward

Tracy Reed (21 September 1942 – 2 May 2012) was an English actress.

Life and career[edit]

Reed was born Clare Tracy Compton Pelissier,[1] the daughter of the director Anthony Pelissier and actress Penelope Dudley-Ward;[2] she took the surname of her stepfather, Sir Carol Reed, following her mother's remarriage in 1948. Reed is the granddaughter of the actress Fay Compton and the producer H.G. Pelissier and the socialite Freda Dudley Ward and William Dudley Ward. Her great-uncle was the novelist Sir Compton Mackenzie. Actor Oliver Reed was a step-cousin.[1]

During a film-acting career that lasted from the early 1960s until 1975, she appeared in about thirty films, the TV series Man of the World (1962) and was at one point under consideration as a replacement for Diana Rigg in The Avengers.[1]

She is remembered for her role as Miss Scott, the mistress of General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) in director Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove (1964). She has the only female part in that film and is (principally) seen in only one scene[3]-when she answers the phone while Turgidson is in the bathroom. She is also shown as the centrefold "Miss Foreign Affairs"[4] in the June 1962 copy of Playboy magazine being read by pilot Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) in the B-52. In the photo, she is lying down, apparently nude, with the January 1963 issue of Foreign Affairs – Vol. 41, No. 2, containing Henry Kissinger's suggestive article "Strains on the Alliance" – strategically draped across her buttocks.[5] When asked in 1994 if she had "fond memories" of working on the film, she replied "'Oh yes, lots!'", but "I was wearing a bikini the whole time,' Reed [remembered], and when Kubrick decided to open the set to the press, 'there were all these reporters staring at me. It was dreadful.'"[2]

Later in life, she worked as a gourmet foods company representative in Ireland, traveling the country to persuade shops to sell her employer's products.[2]


She died of liver cancer in County Cork, Ireland, at age 69 on 2 May 2012; and her funeral was held there as well.[6]


Reed was four times married:

  1. The actor Edward Fox (1958–1961; divorced). Their daughter, the former Lucy Fox, now the wife of Jenico Preston, 17th Viscount Gormanston, recalled after her mother's death: "she remained close to my father. The marriage was doomed from the start, but they never stopped being close friends. They really loved each other so much."[7]
  2. The actor Neil Hallett (1970-1973; divorced)
  3. The actor Bill Simpson (1974–1982; divorced); two daughters.
  4. Christopher McCabe; no children



  1. ^ a b c Richard Anthony Baker (30 August 2012). "The Stage/Features/Obituaries/Tracy Reed". Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Anne Bergman "'Dr. Strangelove' and the Single Woman", Los Angeles Times, 10 July 1994
  3. ^ Peter Baxter "The One Woman", Wide Angle 6:1 (1984) pp. 34-41
  4. ^ People section, Time (magazine), 15 March 1963.
  5. ^ Grant B. Stillman "Two of the MADdest scientists: where Strangelove Meets Dr. No; or, unexpected roots for Kubrick's Cold War classic", Film History, vol. 20 issue 4 (2008) pp. 487-500; ISSN 0892-2160, Figs. 3 & 4
  6. ^ "Tracy Reed". Aveleyman. 21 September 1942. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Matthew Bell "The Feral Beast: Farewell to a loved and Foxy lady ", The Independent, 19 August 2012

External links[edit]