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Tue, 12.19.1944

Tim Reid, Film/TV Actor, Director, Producer born

Tim Reid

*Tim Reid was born on this date in 1944. He is a Black actor, film director, and media philanthropist.  Timothy Lee Reid was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in the Crestwood area of Chesapeake, Virginia, formerly Norfolk County, Virginia. He is the son of William Lee and Augustine (née Wilkins) Reid. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at Norfolk State College in 1968. Reid also became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he was hired by Dupont Corporation, where he worked for three years. Reid's entertainment career also began in 1968. He and insurance salesman Tom Dreesen met at a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting near Chicago. 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. The team, later billed as "Tim and Tom", was the first interracial comedy duo. 

TV Acting

Reid started on the short-lived The Richard Pryor Show. Reid starred as DJ "Venus Flytrap" on the hit 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 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". 

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. Reid appeared in the initial movie version of Stephen King's epic horror novel It. He made an appearance 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 on the short-lived series Roommates as Mr. Daniels. Reid had a recurring role on That '70s Show as William Barnett. 

Directing

Reid has directed various television programs as well as 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. 

New Millennium Studios

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 novel; 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. In 2008, he and Tom Dreesen wrote a book about those years called Tim & Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White.

Reid was named to the board of directors of the American Civil War Center in July 2011 at Tredegar Iron Works. 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. During the 1980s and 1990s, Reid served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute. 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.

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