The Finding Aid of the Alan Reed Papers 0119

Beth McDonald and Katie Richardson
Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
September 2013
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu 90263-4786

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
Title: Alan Reed Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 0119
Physical Description: 0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)
Date: 1920s-1970s
Abstract: Alan Reed was an American film, stage, and voice actor, best known as the original voice of Fred Flintstone on the show The Flintstones. The collection includes photographs of Reed assembled for his portfolio, correspondence from Fred Allen, newspaper clippings, short essays that Reed wrote, and business matters with the Screen Actors Guild.

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access. Pepperdine also has digital copies of the items in this collection. The file name for each of the items within the collection is located following the item's title in parentheses. The contents of the collection are available through the Pepperdine Libraries Digital Collection:

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Alan Reed Papers, Collection no. 0119, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was given to Pepperdine University by Chris Reed in two installments on July 25, 2013 and September 3, 2013.

Biographical note

Alan Reed was born Theodore "Teddy" Bergman on August 20, 1907, in New York City, New York. He majored in Journalism at Columbia University before leaving school to pursue an acting career. A talented voice actor with a command of 22 foreign dialects, he became much sought after for radio broadcast programs, particulary comedic programs such as The Fred Allen Show and Life with Luigi. He also worked steadily on Broadway with the Theatre Guild. In 1932, Reed married Finnette Walker (1909–2005), a Broadway singer and actress. The couple had three sons, Alan, Christopher, and Steven.
When his reputation as a comedic actor made it difficult for Teddy Bergman to break into dramatic acting, he changed his name, billing himself as Teddy Bergman for comedy roles and Alan Reed for dramatic work. In 1939, he legally changed his name to Alan Reed, Sr., naming himself after his eldest son, Alan Reed Bergman.
In the 1940s, Reed moved his family to the West Coast to pursue a career in film. He appeared in multiple notable films, including Days of Glory, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Viva Zapata! He also made appearances on various television series. Reed's career hit a small snag in the 1950s when rumors spread that he might have Communist sympathies, an allegation Reed vehemently denied.
It was Reed's voice acting career that provided him with his most famous role. In 1960, he began voicing Fred Flintstone, the lead character of Hanna-Barbera's prime-time animated series The Flintstones. It is said that the look of Fred Flintstone was based on Reed's burly physique and Reed himself coined Fred's catchphrase: Yabba Dabba Doo! Reed provided Fred's voice for the entire six-season run of the show, as well as in several spin-off series and specials.
After 56 years in the entertainment industry, Reed died of a heart attack in 1977 at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife, Finette, his three sons and several grandchildren.

Scope and Content

The collection includes photographs of Reed used in his portfolio; correspondence from Fred Allen; newspaper clippings related to his career and to Anti-Communist sentiment; short essays that Reed wrote about his career and Anti-Communist stance, some of which later were included in his auto-biography; letters pertaining to a Screen Actors Guild labor dispute in the 1940s; and clippings and photographs about several paintings by artist Walt Kuhn which Reed was the model for.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Related Archival Materials

Series 4, Walt Kuhn Family Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Processing Information note

The collection was arranged and described by Beth McDonald under the supervision of Katie Richardson.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Actors and actresses -- United States
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
Flintstones (Fictitious characters)
Allen, Fred
Screen Actors Guild
Reed, Alan

box 1, folder 1

Academy Foundation Events- Reds and Blacklists in Hollywood 2002 April

Physical Description: (reed00001.pdf)
box 1, folder 2

Anti-Communist Writings - Reed 1940s - 1950s

Physical Description: (reed00002.pdf - reed00003.pdf)
box 1, folder 3

Anti-Communist Writings - Other circa 1950s

Physical Description: (reed00004.pdf)
box 1, folder 4

Correspondence from Fred Allen 1945-1949

Physical Description: (reed00006.pdf - reed00011.pdf)
box 1, folder 5

Hospital record and condolence letter 1977

Physical Description: (reed00012.pdf - reed00013.pdf)
box 1, folder 6

Personal Writings 1940s - 1960s

Physical Description: (reed00014.pdf - reed00016.pdf)
box 1, folder 7

Photographs 1940s - 1970s

Physical Description: (reed00029.jpg - reed00041.jpg; reed00045.jpg - reed00064.jpg)
box 1, folder 8

Press Clippings - Anti-Communist 1953, 1958

Physical Description: (reed00027.pdf - reed00028.pdf)
box 1, folder 9

Press Clippings - Career 1941-1943

Physical Description: (reed00042.pdf - reed00044.pdf)
box 1, folder 10

Screen Actor's Guild Petition 1946

Physical Description: (reed00017.pdf - reed00018.pdf)
box 1, folder 11

Walt Kuhn paintings 1929-2012

Physical Description: (reed00019.pdf - reed00026.pdf; reed00065.pdf - reed00071.pdf)