Wednesday, October 24, 2018

An Evening for Dean Reed

Dean Reed would have been 80 years old this year: The tragic rebel, the beautiful singer, entertainer and freedom fighter all in one person: Dean Reed. The life of the American is like a roller coaster ride. His early death at the age of 47 still provides material for speculation. Even Hollywood was planning to film this extraordinary life.

On June 17, 1986, Dean Reed is found dead in his car in the waters of Lake Zeuthen near Berlin. Suicide? Accident? Secret conspiracy? The GDR speaks of an accident. Not only in the West is the rumor that Reed has been eliminated. After the change, the public learns that it was almost certainly a suicide. But the why remains unanswered until today.

Born in Colorado in 1938, Reed begins his artistic career in Hollywood. In the sixties he rises with elvis-affine songs to a teenage idol in South America. There he becomes politicized, becomes a self-confessed socialist and starts a second career in the Eastern bloc from 1966 onwards. In 1973, "the red Elvis" - because of love it is called - moves to the GDR, where the upper ones literally court the "singer of the other America". The American impresses with his performances at the World Festival in 1973 and at the Festival of political song with his charm the youth. Women succumb to his beauty. The DEFA wants or has to establish the newcomer as an actor. Together with stars of the GDR like Gojko Mitic, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Manfred Krug, he also conquered the cinemas of the GDR. In the big entertainment shows like "Kessel Bunte" or "Night of the Celebrities" Dean Reed becomes a permanent guest.

And: Reed was, as now for the first time accessible documents show, closely monitored by the State Security. From the beginning and until the last day of his life. And of people in his very close environment, whom he trusted. To what extent did the authority have it in their clutches? Who was Dean Reed before he came to the GDR in 1973? What exactly drove him to the GDR and who pulled the strings?

How did colleagues, friends and his wives experience the singer, entertainer and actor? Was his enthusiasm for socialism genuine and when did it turn into disappointment? What can one say today with absolute certainty about his mysterious death, or is there a secret that he did not want to reveal?

The documentary for Dean Reed's 80th birthday with:

* Ramona Reed, daughter from first marriage - first time on German television
* Alexander Reed, for the son of actress Renate Blume's first marriage, Dean Reed was like a father from 1980 until his death
* Peter Michael Diestel, lawyer, was the last interior minister of the GDR to re-examine the death in the 1990
* Thomas Sindermann, son of Politburo member Horst Sindermann and head of the homicide commission in the case Dean Reed 1986
* Vaclav Neckar, singer and actor with whom Dean Reed combined decades of artistic collaboration and had a close friendship
* Günter Linke, the master of portrait photography, saw Dean Reed in Moscow in 1971 and the couple Reed / Blume the day before Dean Reed's death
* Victor Grossmann, deserted from the US Army in 1952 and lived as an American in the GDR, since 1971 Dean Reed's interpreter and longtime friend

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