The Athens News, Ohio 19.06.1986
'American Rebel' drowns near his home in East Germany
Former Athens filmmaker Will Roberts plans to travel to East Germany this week for a memorial for the "American Rebel" who died on Tuesday.
Dean Reed, the rock 'n' roll singer and actor immortalized in Robert's documentary, "American Rebel," drowned in a lake at his home in East Berlin, Robert's wife Ann Donohoe confirmed from her and Roberts' home in Springfield, Ohio, Wednesday night.
Donohoe said the drowning was accidental and occured while Reed was swimming. Her husband plans to attend a memorial for Reed on Monday, she said.
"American Rebel," which had its Ohio debut in Athens in November 1985, chronicled the story of Reed, a talented rock 'n' roller of the late 1950s and early 1960s who, after recording a series of singles for Capitol Records in the United States, became a wild musical and film success in South America and Europe. He was especially popular behind the Iron Courtain where in Moscow he often received police protection from zealous fans.
As of last year, Reed had appeared in nearly two dozen motion pictures in Italy and Bulgaria and was continuing to perform to sold-out concert halls in 32 countries around the world.
CBS's 60 Minutes profiled Reed several weeks ago.
When Reed visited Athens for the Ohio debut of "American Rebel" last November, he was interviewed by The Athens NEWS. During the interview, he said he enjoyed his relative anonymity in the States.
He described himself as an independent Marxist and said he believed in socialism, although he added that he didn't accept the Soviet Union as the model for the world.
During the interview, he said, "I would love to come back to (the United States) if I could be productive, creative, retain my dignity and my own ideals, and make the kind of films I believe in. But I'm not ready to come back and do Coca-Cola ads to make a living. I've done too much in my life to do that."
He said he hoped to film a movie about the Wounded Knee standoff on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
In 1972, Reed wrote and acted in Bloodbrothers, an Eastern European film based on the U.S. Cavalry's Sand Creek Massacre of Indians on the Colorado plains in the late 1800s.
Roberts was visiting in Athens Wednesday night, but could not be reached for comment.
by Terry Smith