Elliott "Ted" Reid, 93, a longtime character actor in films and on television, stage and radio who played opposite Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the classic comedy "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," died Friday in Studio City, said his nephew Roger R. Jackson.
Reid died of heart failure at an assisted living facility where he had resided in recent years, his nephew said.
Although Reid had a number of dramatic roles, he was best known for his comic touch in such films as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
In that 1953 movie, Reid memorably played Ernie Malone, a private investigator hired to keep track of Monroe's character, Lorelei Lee, who is suspected of being a gold digger by her fiance's wealthy father. Along the way, Malone falls for Monroe's best friend, Dorothy Shaw, played by Russell.
Reid also played Fred MacMurray's self-important romantic rival in Disney's "The Absent-Minded Professor" in 1961 and its 1963 sequel, "Son of Flubber," as well as a local prosecuting attorney in "Inherit the Wind" in 1960.
A gifted mimic, Reid developed an impersonation of President Kennedy, which he performed for the president at a 1962 Washington dinner. Time magazine reported that the president was "convulsed" by the performance.
Edgeworth Blair Reid — he later took Elliott as his stage name — was born Jan. 16, 1920, in New York City. His father, Blair Reid, was a banker, and his mother, Christine Challenger Reid, an artist. At 15, he landed a role on the radio program "The March of Time," where he worked with Orson Welles, who later invited him to join his Mercury Theatre company, doing both radio and stage productions. Reid became a regular.
In addition to his film and radio work, Reid appeared often on television series and variety shows. He was a regular guest on shows hosted by Dinah Shore and Jack Paar in the 1950s and a cast member on the U.S. version of David Frost's 1960s political satire program "That Was the Week That Was." He also appeared in episodes of "I Love Lucy," "Perry Mason" and "Murder, She Wrote," among many others.
REID, Elliott (Edgeworth Blair Reid)
Born: 1/16/2013, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 6/21/2013, Studio City, California, U.S.A.
Elliott Reid’s westerns – actor:
Sierra – 1950 (Duke Lafferty)
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1966 (Governor Marcus Hawthorne)