Tim Reid

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Tim Reid
File:Tim Reid at USDA Black History Month celebration.jpg
Reid speaking at the USDA Black History Month celebration in February 2012
Born Timothy L. Reid
(1944-12-19) December 19, 1944 (age 76)
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, director
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Rita Reid
(1967–May 9, 1980; divorced) 2 children
Daphne Maxwell (December 4, 1982–present); 2 children

Timothy L. "Tim" Reid[1] (born December 19, 1944) 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 (2004–2006). Reid starred in a CBS series, Frank's Place, as a professor who inherits a Louisiana restaurant.

Early years

Timmy Reid was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in the Crestwood area of Chesapeake, Virginia, formerly Norfolk County, Virginia. The son of Augustine (née Wilkins) and William Lee Reid.[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.[2]

Reid's entertainment career also began in 1968. He and insurance salesman Tom Dreesen met at a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting near Chicago.[3] 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.[3] The team, later billed as "Tim and Tom", was the first interracial comedy duo. Years later,[when?] Reid and Dreesen co-wrote a book about those years called Tim & Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White (ISBN 978-0-226-70900-0, co-written with sports writer Ron Rapoport).[citation needed]

Television acting career

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".[4]

Reid appeared in the movie version of Stephen King's epic horror novel It. He played the role of Mike Hanlon, librarian at the Derry, Maine Public Library. Though he admitted having a great time working on the project, Reid later expressed his disappointment with the fact that his character was absent from the climatic showdown against the titular villain (played by Tim Curry). 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.[citation needed]


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

Personal life

In 1967, Reid married Rita; they divorced on May 9, 1980. They have two children together: Tim Reid II (born 1968) and Tori Reid (born 1971). Since December 4, 1982, he has been married to actress Daphne Maxwell Reid. Reid was named to the board of directors of the American Civil War Center in July 2011 at Tredegar Iron Works.[citation needed]On May 10, 2014, Reid received a VCU honorary doctorate for his many outstanding and distinguished contributions. He delivered a commencement speech during the ceremony.


Year Film Role Notes
1974 That's My Mama Rev. Armbruster Episode:"Clifton's Persuasion "
1976 Mother, Jugs & Speed Unity Dispatcher uncredited
Rhoda Kitchen Helper Ep."Guess Who I Saw Today"
1977 The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show unknown
Fernwood 2 Night Matthew Johnson Ep."#1.43"
The Richard Pryor Show Blind Man Ep."#1.2"
Lou Grant Detective Ep."Hostages"
What's Happening!! Dr. Claymore Ep."It's All in Your Head"
Maude Policeman Ep."Maude's Christmas Surprise"
1978 ABC Weekend Specials Tillson Ep."Little Lulu"
WKRP in Cincinnati Venus Flytrap / Gordon Sims 83 episodes;1978-1982
1979 You Can't Take It with You Donald TV
1982 Benson Russell, Benson's Brother Ep."Thy Brother's Keeper"
1983 Teachers Only Michael Horne 5 episodes
Simon & Simon Det. Marcel 'Downtown' Brown 79 episodes;1983–87
1985 Code Name: Foxfire unknown Ep."Robin's Egg Blues"
1987 Matlock Danny Miller Ep."The Court-Martial: Part 1 and 2"
Frank's Place Frank Parish 22 episodes;1987–88
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
Snoops Chance Dennis 4 episodes
1990 ABC TGIF Ray
The Fourth War Lt. Col. Clark
Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer Jack Barnett TV
Stephen King's It Mike Hanlon TV Movie
1991 Zorro Dr. Lorenzo Lozano Ep."Wicked, Wicked Zorro"
1992 You Must Remember This Joe TV
The New WKRP in Cincinnati Gordon Sims / Venus Flytrap Ep."Venus, We Hardly Knew Ya"
Mastergate Chip Chatworth TV
Highlander: The Series Sgt. Bennett 3 episodes;1992–93
1993 Say a Little Prayer Thug
1994 Sister, Sister Ray Campbell 120 episodes;1994–99
Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Frederick Douglass
1995 Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again Downtown Brown
Out-of-Sync Det. Wilson
1996 Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored Director Debut as a film director
1997 Touched by an Angel Buddy Baker Ep."Last Call"
1998 Linc's Priest unknown episodes
1999 Just Deserts Scott Waring TV
2000 Alley Cats Strike Mayor McLemore TV
2002 Mu Sa Do Doorman 2
2003 You Wish! Larry TV
For Real Mac
2004-2006 That '70s Show William Barnett 9 episodes
2005 On the One Prophet
The Reading Room Douglas TV
2006 That's So Raven Sheriff Jefferson Ep."Driving Miss Lazy"
2007 Trade Hank Jefferson
2009 Roommates Mr. Stanley Daniels
2010 Treme Judge John A. Gatling
2016 93 Days Post-Production


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tim Reid profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-06-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Tim Reid profile, Museum of Broadcast Communications website; accessed January 11, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 WKRP vet Reid, standup Dreesen's previous life, an October 2008 CNN article
  4. Tim Reid profile; accessed November 26, 2007.

External links