He was born John Robert Reitz on Oct. 19, 1932, and spent most of his childhood on a farm in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In high school, he became interested in acting. He spent a couple of years at Northwestern University and transferred to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
Upon returning to the U.S., he adopted the stage name Robert Reed and began a career in theater. Soon after, Reed relocated to Hollywood and began pursuing a career in TV while appearing in various stage productions -- including a run on Broadway in Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." Reed was seen in dozens of television shows in the 1960s including The Danny Thomas Show, Father Knows Best, Family Affair and The Defenders.
He took the role of Mike Brady in 1969, although he continued to appear as a regular on Mannix as well as taking guest spots on The Mod Squad, Mission: Impossible and others. Reed was a prolific actor, with a long list of post-Brady credits.
One of Reed's most daring roles was that of a sex-change patient on an episode of Medical Center for which he garnered an Emmy nomination (one of three in his career.) He appeared in everything from The Boy in the Plastic Bubble to Roots and did a couple of infomercials in the early '90s before his death in 1992.
Mike Brady is a bright man and a highly paid architect. Although he is a champion breadwinner and father-of-the-year material, he didn't have the foresight to build in enough bathrooms for six kids. Aside from dispensing fatherly wisdom, Mike enjoys playing golf, camping and the ukulele. He's really an all-around perfect dad, with an even temper, sage advice and the know-how to build everything from dunking booths to club houses.