Alaina Reed Hall

Alaina Reed Hall

Born: November 10, 1946
Died: December 17, 2009 (at age 63)
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, U.S.

Alaina Reed Hall (November 10, 1946 - December 17, 2009) was an American singer and actress best known for her roles as Olivia Robinson, Gordon's younger sister, on the long-running children's television series Sesame Street, and as Rose Lee Holloway on the NBC sitcom 227.

Early life and career

Hall was born Bernice Ruth Reed in Springfield, Ohio on November 10, 1946.

In the mid-1960s she attended Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, where she was active in many productions at KSU's E. Turner Stump Theater. These included "The Streets of New York", "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman!", and "The Tragedy of Tragedies - The Life and Death of Tom Thumb The Great". Known to many by her nickname "Tiny", she and her vocal group, "Tiny and the Velours", performed regularly at Kent's popular student nightspot, The Fifth Quarter.

She began her professional career in Philadelphia and off-Broadway productions. She was among the original cast members in the 1974 off-Broadway production of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road. Hall appeared in productions of Hair (Chicago in 1970 and the 1977 revival), Chicago, and Eubie!.

In 1976, she won the role of Olivia on the children's series Sesame Street. Her character was a photographer and the kid sister of Gordon. In 1985, she also starred in the first ever Sesame Street movie Follow That Bird, reprising her role as Olivia. That same year, Hall co-starred on the sitcom 227, frequently traveling between New York City (where Sesame Street is taped) and Los Angeles (where 227 was taped). Due to this schedule, she left Sesame Street in 1988.

After 227 ended in 1990, Hall appeared in guest roles on various TV shows, including Herman's Head and Blossom. She also provided the voice for the animated characters on Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? and Sonic the Hedgehog. In 1995, Hall co-starred on the short-lived WB sitcom Cleghorne!, starring Ellen Cleghorne. The following year she appeared in the television film The Cherokee Kid. She has since had recurring roles on Ally McBeal, Any Day Now, and ER.

In addition to stage and television work, Hall has also appeared in some films including Death Becomes Her (1992), Cruel Intentions (1999), and the 2007 independent feature I'm Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks). She appeared in the short film A-Date, written by comedian Tim Powers.

Prior to her death, Reed was in talks with Sesame Workshop for a return to Sesame Street to reprise her Olivia role. A script was supposedly written titled "Welcome Back, Olivia", but Reed's passing ended the deal in which she intended to sign after her medical treatments were done.

Personal life and death

Hall was married three times. Her first marriage, which produced two children, ended in divorce. In December 1988, she married actor Kevin Peter Hall after meeting him when he guest starred on 227. She was widowed in 1991 after her husband died of pneumonia from AIDS complications after receiving a blood transfusion.

In 2008, Hall married television director Tamim Amini.

Hall died of breast cancer in Santa Monica, California at age sixty-three on December 17, 2009. Her ashes were sprinkled into the Pacific Ocean.


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird Olivia
1992 Death Becomes Her Psychologist
1993 Me and the Kid Sarah
1999 Cruel Intentions Nurse
2001 Chasing Sunsets Mrs. Stevens
2003 Scrambled Gert
2006 The Shift Mother
2007 I'm Through with White Girls... Jerri Moore
2007 A-Date Valerie Short film
Year Title Role Notes
1976-1988 Sesame Street Olivia Episodes 926-2485
1978 Baby, I'm Back Jackie 1 episode
1985-1990 227 Rose Lee Holloway 115 episodes
1992 Herman's Head Margaret Bracken 1 episode
1992 A Different World Claims Officer #5 1 episode
1993 Blossom Esther 1 episode
1994 Sonic the Hedgehog Additional voices 13 episodes
1995 Friends Admissions Woman 1 episode
1995 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Nurse Berkey 1 episode
1995 Cleghorne! Lena Carlson 15 episodes
1995 The Drew Carey Show Lois 1 episode
1996 The Cherokee Kid Ma Holsopple Television movie
1997 The Steve Harvey Show Corinthia Grier 1 episode
1997 Between Brothers Vera Ford 1 episode
1997 NYPD Blue Mrs. Angela Cheevers 1 episode
1997-1998 Ally McBeal Judge Elizabeth Witt 3 episodes
1998 Caroline in the City Stanchfield 1 episode
1999 NewsRadio Landlady 1 episode
1998-2000 Any Day Now Aunt Della Watt 2 episodes
2006 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Mrs. Mayweather 1 episode
2007 ER Betty Dixon 2 episodes

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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