Studies in New York with Uta Hagen led to Reid sharing the part of Martha with her teacher for matinee performances of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). From this date she divided her time between the US and Canada. An Emmy Award nomination followed for her television portrait of Queen Victoria in Disraeli (1963), and there were Tony nominations for Dylan (1964), opposite Alec Guinness, and for her roles in Tennessee Williams's Slapstick Tragedy (1966), which the author wrote for her. Arthur Miller also penned The Price (1968) with Reid in mind, as did Edward Albee in A Delicate Balance (she performed the film version in 1973).
In 1980 she won a Joseph Jefferson Award for her playing in Bosoms and Neglect, and in 1984-85 teamed with Dustin Hoffman in a memorable stage and television revival of Death of a Salesman. In addition to her Broadway appearances, Reid was seen at Stratford, Conn (1969, 1974), the SHAW FESTIVAL (The Circle 1967; Mrs Warren's Profession, 1976) and numerous regional theatres in Canada and the US.
Her range was impressive; from the cheap and brassy Big Momma in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1974) to the tyranical queen Clytemnestra in The Oresteia of Aeschylus (NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, 1983). Interspersed with her stage work were numerous appearances on television and film. Canadians saw her on CBC-TV in shows like "The Paper People,""The Whiteoaks of Jalna" and "Nellie McClung," while American networks employed her in series such as "Gavilan,""Morningstar - Eveningstar" and "Dallas," or on specials like "The Execution of Raymond Graham." Her more than a dozen feature films included This Property Is Condemned, The Andromeda Strain, Atlantic City and Bye, Bye Blues. She died unexpectedly of tumours on the brain at the age of 62, remembered fondly for her gutsy warmth and luminous vulnerability.
Honours in Canada included the Order of Canada (1974), ACTRA and Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 1980 and 1981, the Earle Grey Award in 1988, and honorary degrees from York University (1970) and the U of Toronto (1989).
Author DAVID GARDNER
Links to Other Sites
Frances Hyland, Kate Reid, Martha Henry and John Hirsch's The Cherry Orchard at Stratford
This article chronicles the early careers of Frances Hyland, Kate Reid, and Martha Henry as well as their roles in Stratford's "The Cherry Orchard".
Screen Legends: Leading Ladies
Click on the images on the right side of the page to see a video vignette devoted to each performer. Part of the "Screen Legends" series from the Historica-Dominion Institute.
The IMDb page for the movie "Atlantic City" which featured many Canadians on screen and behind the scenes.