Kate Reid, 62; Stage, Movie and TV Actress


Kate Reid, an actress not widely known outside the entertainment industry who did gain a measure of national recognition for her sensitive portrayal of Dustin Hoffman’s wife in the 1990 TV revival of “Death of a Salesman,” has died.

Miss Reid, known for her commanding voice and equally dominant presence, was 62 when she died Saturday in her home in Stratford, Canada. She died of cancer, her agent told the Associated Press.

For more than 40 years she was a versatile presence on British, American and Canadian stages and movie screens.


Born Kate (“not Catherine,” she emphasized in a 1965 interview with The Times) in London to Canadian parents, she began acting while a student at the University of Toronto.

She was interpreting many leading comedic Shakespearean roles while still in her 20s, but her ability to cry and scream violently at will pushed her toward drama.

She was appearing at the Stratford (Canada) Shakespeare Festival in 1962 when she was booked into Broadway as Martha in the matinee company of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Although she considered it one of her stronger roles, she opted to return to Shakespeare when asked to take over Uta Hagen’s role in the prime time Broadway production.

She did return to New York two years later to play Caitlin Thomas to Alec Guinness’ Dylan Thomas and was nominated for a Tony for “Dylan.” She was nominated again the next year for her performance in “Slapstick Tragedy.”

She also was nominated for a Grammy for the cast album from “Dylan.”

She was nominated for an Emmy award for her TV staging of Queen Victoria in the 1963 Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “The Invincible Mr. Disraeli” and appeared again the following year as Mary Todd Lincoln in Hallmark’s “Abe Lincoln in Illinois.”

Her film career began in 1965 after producer Ray Stark tested her for the part of Natalie Wood’s mother in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ “This Property Is Condemned.” Her other films included “The Andromeda Strain,” “A Delicate Balance,” “Equus” and “Atlantic City,” in which critics praised her portrayal of the fading beauty queen involved with Burt Lancaster.

She was seen on television as Aunt Lil Trotter on “Dallas.”

She was divorced twice and is survived by a son and daughter.