|Year of Birth:||1916|
|Year of Death:||2010|
John Lamb Reed, OBE (13 February 1916 – 13 February 2010) was an English actor, dancer and singer, known for his nimble performances in the principal comic roles of the Savoy Operas, particularly with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Reed has been called "the last great exponent" of the Gilbert and Sullivan comedy roles.
The son of a butcher from County Durham, Reed began performing at the end of World War II, joining the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1951. After eight years as understudy to Peter Pratt, he became the principal comedian of the company in 1959, remaining for two decades, playing all the famous Gilbert and Sullivan patter roles, including Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore, the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance, Bunthorne in Patience, the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Jack Point in The Yeomen of the Guard and the Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers, among others. He was known for his "fleet-footed clowning", dry and roguish wit, comic timing, "crystal clear diction" in the patter songs, and his amusing character voice, recording all of his principal roles with the company.
In 1979, Reed left the company but continued performing in and directing Gilbert and Sullivan productions in Britain and America, as well as appearing in other light opera. He retired to Halifax, West Yorkshire, directing amateur Gilbert and Sullivan companies and attending the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton for many years.