Reed Hadley

Reed Hadley

Reed Hadley in 1953 Kansas Pacific
Born Reed Herring
(1911-06-25)June 25, 1911
Petrolia, Texas, U.S.
Died December 11, 1974(1974-12-11) (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Bennett High School
Occupation Actor
Years active 1938-1971
Spouse(s) Helen Hadley (?-1974) (his death)
Children Dale Hadley

Reed Hadley (born Reed Herring; June 25, 1911 December 11, 1974) was an American film, television and radio actor.

Early life

Reed Hadley was born in Petrolia in Clay County near Wichita Falls in northern Texas, to Bert Herring, an oil well driller, and his wife Minnie. Hadley had one sister, Bess Brenner. He was reared in Buffalo, New York and graduated from Bennett High School there. He was involved in the local Studio Arena Theater. Hadley and his wife, Helen, had one son, Dale. Before moving to Hollywood, he acted in Hamlet on stage in New York City.


Throughout his thirty-five-year career in film, Hadley was cast as both a villain and a hero of the law, in such movies as The Baron of Arizona (1950), The Half-Breed (1952), Highway Dragnet (1954) and Big House, U.S.A. (1955), and narrated a number of documentaries. He starred in two television series, Racket Squad (1950–1953) as Captain Braddock, and The Public Defender (1954–1955) as Bart Matthews, a fictional attorney for the indigent.

Hadley was the voice of cowboy hero Red Ryder on the radio show during the 1940s. In films, he starred as Zorro in the 1939 serial Zorro's Fighting Legion.

He is immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his television work, which included guest starring roles on such programs as the religion anthology series, Crossroads, and on Rory Calhoun's CBS western series, The Texan. In 1959, he played fictitious Sheriff Ben Tildy in "The Sheriff of Boot Hill", with Denver Pyle cast as Joe Lufton.[1]

Hadley was the narrator of several Department of Defense films: "Operation Ivy", about the first hydrogen bomb test, Ivy Mike, "Military Participation on Tumbler/Snapper"; "Military Participation on Buster Jangle"; and "Operation Upshot–Knothole" all of which were produced by Lookout Mountain studios. The films were originally intended for internal military use, but have been "sanitized" and de-classified, and are now available to the public.

In 1945 he narrated “The Nazi Plan”, a documentary film using captured propaganda and newsreel footage to dramatize the Nazis rise to power and was used by the prosecution in the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.[2]

Hadley also served as the narrator on various Hollywood films, including House on 92nd Street (1945), Boomerang (1947),[3] and The Iron Curtain (1948).


He died at age 63 on December 11, 1974 of a heart attack.[2]




Other works


Year Program Episode/source
Red Ryder
1952 Stars in the Air "On Borrowed Time"[8]


  1. "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "IMDB Reed Hadley Biography".
  3. videodetective
  4. "Theater". News-Journal. May 5, 1938. p. 23. Retrieved May 16, 2015 via
  5. "Mysteries Feature State Screen Bill on Wednesday". Santa Ana Register. September 10, 1938. p. 8. Retrieved May 16, 2015 via
  6. "Movie Parade". The Mason City Globe-Gazette. March 16, 1939. p. 14. Retrieved May 16, 2015 via
  7. "Several New Characters". The Amarillo Globe-Times. May 12, 1939. p. 19.
  8. Kirby, Walter (April 6, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 52. Retrieved May 16, 2015 via
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