Red Elvis - the story of Dean Reed, who was known more behind the Iron Curtain than at home

Popularity in his native USA came to him shortly before his death, and it was far from what many artists dream of: back in 1986, he gave a scandalous interview, which, perhaps, played a huge role in his death.

Dean Reed's story: early years, career, little-known details of life

Proclaimed Red Elvis, Dean Reed was an American actor and singer, who really knew more behind the Iron Curtain than at home. He sang Elvis Presley ballads, protest songs and Texas cowboy anthems, and took part in westerns. The beauties of the Land of the Soviets were literally crazy about him! However, in United States his popularity was overshadowed: people condemned him, called him a traitor. Despite this, Reid professed a love for America! He was proud of his citizenship, but boldly and openly criticized the authorities of his country.

His story begins on a farm in the suburbs of Denver and ends in a lake on the outskirts of East Berlin. In 1988, he could have turned 50 years old, but he did not live to see this event. Nevertheless, during his life he managed to build a fairly successful career: his name was known in Latin America, in the USSR and in East Germany. At the same time, in his native States, he remained practically unknown. Popularity in family USA came to him shortly before his death, and she was far from the one that many artists dream of: back in 1986, he gave a scandalous interview, which, perhaps, played a huge role in his death.

Early years

Dean Reed
Dean Reed

History Dean Reed originates in the suburbs Denver: the future artist was born in 1938 year in the family of a rural teacher and a housewife. He had two brothers, Vern and Dale. Reed spent his early years in Wheatland, which was rural in the 1930s and 1940s. His family moved frequently: for some time the Reeds lived in California and Utah, but eventually returned to Coloradowhere Dean went to college.


Dean Reed...
Dean Reed

Being talented and especially capable of music, Reed dropped out of school, picked up the guitar and went to Hollywoodwhere he began his ascent. So, towards the end of the 50s, he signed a contract with "Capitol Records", and two years later starred in an episode of the television series Bachelor Father. After recording a couple of not very successful singles, Reed realized that popularity was going down. Then he left for South Americawhere his work was much more appreciated. There, his name stood in various music ratings along with Elvis Presley and Paul Anka. And during each live performance, he was greeted by crowds of screaming fans!

In the 60s, Reed lived in Latin America: his career flourished successfully, however, instead of enjoying fame, the artist sympathized with the losers, the poor and those who were oppressed by dictators. After playing the tour, Reed settled in Argentina: there he acted in films, performed, recorded songs and even hosted his own TV show. Because of his charity concerts in the poor neighborhoods in factories and prisons, Reed received the nickname Mr. Simpatico (Mr Good).

After the military coup, Reed was deported from Argentina, shortly after which he moved to Italy with his family and began a new life: now he created "Spaghetti Westerns" in Rome. Later, his American wife will return to the United States with her daughter: their divorce took place in 1971 year.

Soviet Union and Reed's other travels

Dean Reed
Dean Reed

Dean Reed lived and worked in many countries, including Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Soviet Union and East Germany. Obviously, in addition to his native American, the singer spoke German, Spanish, Italian and Russian! Also in 1966, Reid toured the USSR for several months with almost 40 concerts! He quickly became a sensation as "the all-American boy who gave rock and roll to the Soviet Union"! At the same time, Reed's continued peaceful protests have cast a shadow over his reputation in USA.

Having visited East Germany in 1971, Reid met his future wife Wiebke Dorndeck: it happened at the international film festival in Leipzig. A few years later, Reid went to East Berlinwhere he lived for the rest of his life. In East Germany, he could afford to live as an elite member of society: Reid was able to travel abroad and enjoy certain freedoms, not to mention his own villa.

tragic end of history

Dean Reed
Dean Reed

The life of the legendary artist was tragically cut short June 13, 1986: Dean Reed's body was found near his house, in the waters Lake Tsoyten. According to the official version, reed drowned, but later it turned out that before his death, the singer had taken a dose of a potent sleeping pill. It was announced that the musician committed suicide on purpose. In support of this theory, a farewell letter written by Reed shortly before the incident was presented. Nevertheless, the artist's relatives could not believe that Dean put an end to his own destiny. According to them, he loved life too much to dispose of it in this way.

Interesting Facts

Dean Reed
Dean Reed
  • Among Reed's good comrades were well-known politicians, including Salvador Allende and Yasser Arafat.
  • Not only in countries Eastern bloc, but also in Soviet Union Reed's records were sold in millions of copies!
  • During his lifetime, the artist was awarded "Lenin Komsomol Prize" for music, in which he bravely fights for peace and friendship between peoples.
  • Reed's big fan is a Russian singer Zemfira. Her repertoire even includes a song dedicated to her childhood idol: "Do not let go" from the album "Forgive me, my love" early 2000s.

  • After his death, Reed left two natural daughters from different wives: Ramona from Patricia and Natasha from Wiebke.
  • For a long time, Reed had an affair with an actress Ewe Kivi, and in 1981 he married an actress Renate Blume and adopted her son Alexander.


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