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 African-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.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 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.
Reed's closest friend from the Sesame Street cast was singer and Native American activist Buffy Sainte Marie.
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.
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 63 on December 17, 2009.
|1985||Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird||Olivia|
|1992||Death Becomes Her||Psychologist|
|1993||Me and the Kid||Sarah|
|2001||Chasing Sunsets||Mrs. Stevens|
|2007||I'm Through with White Girls...||Jerri Moore|
|1976-1988||Sesame Street||Olivia||Episodes 926-2485|
|1978||Baby, I'm Back||Jackie||Episode: "You Bet Your Wife"|
|1985-1990||227||Rose Lee Holloway||115 episodes|
|1992||Herman's Head||Margaret Bracken||Episode: "Bracken Up Is Hard to Do"|
|1992||A Different World||Claims Officer #5||Episode: "Occupational Hazards"|
|1993||Blossom||Esther||Episode: "Big Doings: Part 2"|
|1994||Sonic the Hedgehog||Additional voices||13 episodes|
|1995||Friends||Admissions Woman||Episode: "The One with Two Parts: Part 2"|
|1995||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Nurse Berkey||Episode: "Target: Jimmy Olsen"|
|1995||Cleghorne!||Lena Carlson||15 episodes|
|1995||The Drew Carey Show||Lois||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1996||The Cherokee Kid||Ma Holsopple||Television movie|
|1997||The Steve Harvey Show||Corinthia Grier||Episode: "I Do, I Don't"|
|1997||Between Brothers||Vera Ford||Episode: "Family Affair"|
|1997||NYPD Blue||Mrs. Angela Cheevers||Episode: "It Takes a Village"|
|1997-1998||Ally McBeal||Judge Elizabeth Witt||3 episodes|
|1998||Caroline in the City||Stanchfield||Episode: "Caroline and the Cabbie"|
|1998-2000||Any Day Now||Aunt Della Watt||2 episodes|
|2006||The Suite Life of Zack & Cody||Mrs. Mayweather||Episode: "Loosely Ballroom"|
|2007||ER||Betty Dixon||2 episodes|