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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

(From Old Corral collection)
Marshall Reed


Full name:
Marshall Jewel Reed

1917 - 1980

Marshall Reed was born in Colorado in 1917 and began his film career during the later days of World War II. If you saw many of the Republic, Monogram/Allied Artists and PRC westerns from the mid 1940s through the early 1950s, chances are quite good that Reed was among the cast, usually playing a baddie.

Marshall Reed was a very busy man.  Les Adams has identified Reed in about 175 films of which 130 are westerns and 17 are serials. His serial and western film credits at Republic number about fifty films.

Once in a while, Reed got to assist the hero. And he did have one starring role - he was the lead in in one of the last cliffhangers, RIDING WITH BUFFALO BILL (Columbia, 1954). That was one of many Columbia chapterplays produced by prolific Sam Katzman, and utilized lots of stock footage from their earlier serial, DEADWOOD DICK (Columbia, 1940).

There's scuttlebutt that Reed was to become Republic Pictures' new Red Ryder (after Bill Elliott was promoted to A features). The story goes that Republic boss Herbert Yates made a last minute decision and gave the Red Ryder job to Allan Lane. Reed was also under consideration as the star of the LONE RANGER TV series but Clayton Moore got that role.

As time went on - and the B western and chapterplay faded into Hollywood history - Reed migrated to TV work. He was "Inspector Fred Asher" on the 1950s police show THE LINEUP which starred Warner Anderson and Tom Tully. In the 1950s through 1970s, he often did minor supporting roles and bit parts in TV programs such as THE LONE RANGER, CISCO KID, KIT CARSON, LASSIE, DRAGNET, PERRY MASON, more. Reed also had a role in one of the worst sci-fi/horror movies, THEY SAVED HITLER'S BRAIN (1963).

Reed was handsome, tall and looked good in the saddle. About the only negative reaction that I had was his rather monotone voice.

Reed suffered from a brain tumor, and passed away from a massive hemorrhage on April 15, 1980 at age 62. Go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral. The California Death Index as well as the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have records on Marshall Jewel Reed - his birth place and date was Colorado and 5/28/1917, and he passed away on 4/15/1980.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Marshall Reed:

Boyd Magers' Western Clippings website has more on Marshall Reed:

Family Search (free), (subscription), and newspapers have more on Marshall Reed:

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - mid 1970s photo of Marshall Reed signing autographs and meeting fans at one of the film conventions.

(From Old Corral collection)

Johnny Mack Brown and Raymond Hatton (with shotgun) have the drop on Marshall Reed (black shirt) and Terry Frost (red shirt) in a lobby card and a crop/blowup from GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS (Monogram, 1946). Left to right in the background are Steve Clark (suit) and Lew Morphy (behind JMB's horse).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Marshall Reed, Bill Kennedy, Johnny Mack Brown, Raymond Hatton and Virginia Carroll in a lobby card from TRIGGERMAN (Monogram, 1948).

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

L-to-R are Myron Healey, Steve Clark, Marshall Reed, John Merton, Max Terhune, and on the far right wearing the suit is Hugh Prosser. Guy in the center background with the balding head and mustache is William Ruhl. From WESTERN RENEGADES (Monogram, 1949), an entry in the Johnny Mack Brown series.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Tim Holt is roughing up Marshall Reed in this lobby card from GUNPLAY (RKO, 1951).

(Courtesy of Virginia Herrick & Dick Madigan)

Much of the B western and serial work had faded away by the early 1950s, and many of the heroes and supporting players wound up working in early TV shows.  Above are, from L-to-R: Jackie Coogan, Marshall Reed, Virginia Herrick and Russell Hayden in a scene from one of the early TV sagebrush series, the syndicated COWBOY G-MEN.  This TVer first appeared on the little screen in 1952 and starred Hayden and Coogan.

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