Quick Facts of John Robert Rietz Jr.

  • Full NameJohn Robert Rietz Jr.
  • Net Worth$3 Million (Before Death)
  • Date of Birth1932 /10 /19
  • NicknameRobert Reed
  • Marital StatusDivorced
  • BirthplaceHighland Park, Illinois, U.S.
  • EthnicityWhite
  • ProfessionActor
  • NationalityAmerican
  • Eye colourGrey
  • Hair colourBlack
  • SpouseMarilyn Rosenberger (m. 1954; div. 1959)
  • Height6′ 3″
  • EducationNorthwestern University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
  • Children1; daughter, Karen
  • HoroscopeLibra

There would hardly be a person who has not watched the famous 1969 American ABC sitcom, The Brady Bunch. If you have also watched the series, then you might remember the role of Mike Brady portrayed by Robert Reed alongside Florence Henderson who played Carol Brady in the sitcom. Also, he had appeared in the drama, The Defenders (1961-65).

The late American actor, Robert died at the age of 59 in Pasadena, California, the United States. The two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee, Reed left an impressive net worth that he had collected all his life. He was married and divorced with Marilyn Rosenberger and had a child.

Find out in detail about his biography. Stay tuned.

Early Life of Robert Reed

Born as John Robert Rietz Jr. aka Robert Reed grew up as an only child to his father, John Robert Rietz Sr., a government officer, and mother, Helen Teaverbaugh, a homemaker. His parents had a love marriage at the age of 18. With no doubt, Robert grew up in a very lovable surroundings where his parents always supported him.

The childhood picture of Robert Reed
The childhood picture of Robert Reed
Image Source: Closer Weekly

Though he was born in Chicago suburb of Illinois, he enjoyed his early years in Texas and eventually attended Woodrow-Wilson Grade School. Shortly after that, his family shited to Oklahoma. As his father was involved in turkey and cattle farming, Robert also went to join 4-H agricultural club.

On the other hand, Reed had found his interest in acting. He then studied at Central High School and also used to participate in many programs to show his performance. After being sure of his career in acting, he enrolled at Northwestern University and studied drama. At the same time, he also appeared in many plays of Alvina Krause. Finally, he joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Career Highlights

After joining several groups and performing in theatres, Robert Reed made his official appearance from an episode of 1959 TV series, Father Knows Best. Talking about his debut film, he first appeared in Bloodlust!. He got recognized from his role in The Defenders alongside E. G. Marshall, Joan Hackett, and Polly Rowles. For the series, many of the cast members got nominated for their roles that won Two Emmys and 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Robert Reed with his The Defenders co-star, E.G. Marshall
Robert Reed with his The Defenders co-star, E.G. Marshall
Image Credit: Deaconstreet

Robert came up with another famous character, Mike Brady and appeared in 116 episodes of the sitcom (1969-74). He worked in the sitcom alongside Florence Henderson, Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, and many others. Later, he played in several TV films such as The City (1971), Assignment: Munich (1972), Haunts of the Very Rich (1972), A Very Brady Christmas (1988), and so on.

Reason For Death: Colon Cancer or HIV?

The man who served the entertainment industry for decades from 1957 to 1992, his death was taken place in the same year his film, Prime Target was released. During a medical treatment in November 1991, he was first diagnosed with colon cancer. Due to his weak health conditions, he hardly used to allow anyone to enter his room except his only daughter and close friend, Anne Haney.

When the media asked Haney about Reed, she mentioned:

He came from the old school, where people had a sense of decorum. He went the way he wanted to, without publicity.

After Robert knew he was at the last stage of his life, he decided to inform all of his co-stars from The Brady Bunch. Due to his worst health condition, he died at the age of 59 on 12th May 1992 at Huntington Memorial Hospital in California.

Later, his death certificates came out that reported his cause of death to be HIV-AIDS. Yes, he found to be HIV positive that also made headlines on news. As Robert spent a very private life, nobody knew how he contracted to HIV. Whatsoever is the reason for his death, he will always remain in the heart of his fans and well-wishers. May his soul rest in peace!

Marriage & Divorce With Marilyn Rosenberger

As we mentioned earlier, Robert Reed was married to his long-time girlfriend turned former wife, Marilyn Rosenberger. They had exchanged their wedding vows in July 1954. During his marriage, he had not yet entered the entertainment industry. Even they were married in a private marriage ceremony.

From their married life, the former duo also welcomed a daughter, Karen Rietz. After being together for nearly five years, the couple got divorced in 1959. Later, Robert opened about his sexuality to be gay. Some reports then came up saying how his sexuality affected his career at that time.

Was He Really Gay?

The late-American actor, Robert Reed lived under the public radar for a long time. On one side, he was worried about his sexuality, however, one the other side, he was totally open about his sexuality to his close ones and most of the cast members of The Brady Bunch like Barry Williams and Florence Henderson.

Robert Reed with his co-star and friend, Florence Henderson
Robert Reed with his co-star and friend, Florence Henderson
Image Source: House Beautiful

Florence was one of the close friends of Robert and also told the ABC News in 2000,

Here he was, the perfect father of this wonderful little family, a perfect husband. Off camera, he was an unhappy person – I think had Bob not been forced to live this double life, I think it would have dissipated a lot of that anger and frustration. I never asked him. I never challenged him. Well, I had a lot of compassion for him because I knew how he was suffering with keeping this secret.

Many years later his death, the actual information about his sexuality came up that reported he was gay. We think he died during the era when being open about sexuality was not acceptable. If he would have born in this century, the chances for his death would be less.

Left $3 Million Net Worth

Robert Reed served the film and TV industry from the end of the 1950s to the start of the 1990s. Between the period, he appeared in many TV films, series and theatres. From his appearances, he gathered a huge fortune of $3 Million as per the Celebrity Net Worth.

His 1968 film, Star! was made with a total budget of $14.32 Million that collected $4 Million on the USA, $10 Million Worldwide, and $4.2 Million on rentals. Prior to this, he had played in 1967 film, Hurry Sundown which grossed $4,050,000 (rentals) (US/Canada) on the box office and was made with a total budget of $3,785,000.

After his death, Robert must have left his capital to his only daughter, Karen. At present, his daughter is spending a lavish life.

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