Tracy Reed (English actress)

Tracy Reed (21 September 1942 – 2 May 2012) was an English film and television actress.

Tracy Reed
Tracy Reed as Miss Scott in a screenshot of the trailer of Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Clare Tracy Compton Pelissier

(1942-09-21)21 September 1942
London, England
Died2 May 2012(2012-05-02) (aged 69)
County Cork, Ireland
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Years active1944-1976
Edward Fox
(m. 1958; div. 1961)

Neil Hallett
(m. 1970; div. 1973)

Bill Simpson
(m. 1974; div. 1982)

Christopher McCabe
(m. 1982; div. 1983)

Parent(s)Anthony Pelissier
Penelope Dudley-Ward

Life and career

Reed was born Clare Tracy Compton Pelissier,[1] the daughter of the director Anthony Pelissier and actress Penelope Dudley-Ward;[2] she took the surname of her stepfather, Sir Carol Reed, following her mother's remarriage in 1948. Reed was the granddaughter of the actress Fay Compton and the producer H. G. Pelissier, and the socialite Freda Dudley Ward and William Dudley Ward. Her great-uncle was the novelist Sir Compton Mackenzie. Actor Oliver Reed was a step-cousin.[1]

During a film-acting career that lasted from the early 1960s until 1975, she appeared in about 30 films, the TV series Man of the World (1962) and was at one point under consideration as a replacement for Diana Rigg in The Avengers.[1]

Reed is best remembered best today for her role as Miss Scott, the mistress of General 'Buck' Turgidson (George C. Scott) in director Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove (1964). She has the only female role in that film, and is (principally) seen in only one scene[3] – when she answers the phone while Turgidson is in the bathroom. She is also shown as the centrefold "Miss Foreign Affairs"[4] in the June 1962 copy of Playboy magazine being read by pilot Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) in the B-52. In the photo, she is lying down, apparently nude, with the January 1963 issue of Foreign Affairs Vol. 41, No. 2, containing Henry Kissinger's suggestive article "Strains on the Alliance" strategically draped across her buttocks.[5] When asked in 1994 if she had "fond memories" of working on the film, she replied "'Oh yes, lots!'", but "'I was wearing a bikini the whole time,' Reed [remembered], and when Kubrick decided to open the set to the press, 'there were all these reporters staring at me. It was dreadful.'"[2] Later in 1964 she again appeared in a feature film with Peter Sellers, this time in the Blake Edwards comedy A Shot in the Dark. Reed also played the madame in Adam's Woman (1970) with Beau Bridges, filmed in Australia.

Later in life, she worked as a gourmet foods company representative in Ireland, travelling the country to persuade shops to sell her employer's products.[2]


Reed died of liver cancer in County Cork, Ireland, on 2 May 2012, aged 69; her funeral was held there.[6]


Reed was four times married:

  1. The actor Edward Fox (1958-1961; divorced). Their daughter, the former Lucy Fox, now the wife of the 17th Viscount Gormanston, recalled after her mother's death: "she remained close to my father. The marriage was doomed from the start, but they never stopped being close friends. They really loved each other so much."[7]
  2. The actor Neil Hallett (1970-1973; divorced)
  3. The actor Bill Simpson (1974-1982; divorced); two daughters
  4. Christopher McCabe; no children



  1. Richard Anthony Baker (30 August 2012). "The Stage/Features/Obituaries/Tracy Reed". Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  2. Anne Bergman "'Dr. Strangelove' and the Single Woman", Los Angeles Times, 10 July 1994
  3. Peter Baxter "The One Woman", Wide Angle 6:1 (1984) pp. 34-41
  4. People section, Time, 15 March 1963.
  5. Grant B. Stillman "Two of the MADdest scientists: where Strangelove Meets Dr. No; or, unexpected roots for Kubrick's Cold War classic", Film History, vol. 20 issue 4 (2008) pp. 487-500; ISSN 0892-2160, Figs. 3 & 4
  6. "Tracy Reed". Aveleyman. 21 September 1942. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  7. Matthew Bell "The Feral Beast: Farewell to a loved and Foxy lady ", The Independent, 19 August 2012
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