Wednesday, April 18, 2012


If you are a fan of Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra or great musicals, then you have probably seen MGM's "High Society" (1956). No other movie then or now could boast a cast of Crosby, Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong.

However, a child star in the cast nearly stole the movie away from those titans of music. Lydia Reed played Grace Kelly's younger sister in the movie who had a devoted crush on Der Bingle. Mutual Bing collector and friend David Shelton gave me the idea for this article and made me wonder what happened to Lydia Reed? No much is known about Reed after the 1960s, and I searched for a couple months to find some more about Reed, but very little is available.

Reed was born on August 23, 1944, at Mitchel Field on Long Island, New York. She was best known for her role as Tallahassee "Hassie" McCoy from 1957 to 1963 in 145 episodes of the ABC situation comedy The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan in the title role of Grandpa Amos McCoy. Irving Pincus was the creator, and Hy Averback the first principal director.

The pilot episode of the series "Sweet Fifteen," which aired on April 9, 1957, centers on Grandpa's determination to keep Hassie's looming fifteenth birthday party a secret. After its five-year run on ABC, The Real McCoys switched to CBS for its final season in 1962-1963 without the services of Kathleen Nolan as Kate McCoy. Reed appeared less frequently in the final year, as did Michael Winkelman (1946–1999) as Little Luke McCoy, who played Reed's younger brother on the series.

Reed's first performances were in 1952 episodes of two NBC anthology series, Hallmark Hall of Fame (the second episode of the series entitled "Dr. Serocold") and Robert Montgomery Presents. In 1955, she played Mary Foy in the Bob Hope film, The Seven Little Foys. That same year, she played another "Mary" in the episode "Ride with the Executioner" of the anthology Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre. In 1956, she appeared in the role of Caroline Lord in High Society, with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly, and in the episode "Hit and Run" of the NBC series Big Town. Her last role other than that of Hassie McCoy was as Betsy Beecher in a horror film The Vampire.

Reed left acting after her role on The Real McCoys ended and did not appear in a 2000 cable television reunion special (The Nashville Network) with Nolan, Tony Martinez, who portrayed farmhand Pepino Garcia, and Richard Crenna, who played the role of Luke McCoy, Hassie's older brother, for the entire duration of the series. Reed has left entertainment completely to raise a family in the San Fernando Valley area of California...


  1. My Mother was Lydia's Godmother. Lydia's Mother, Shari, and my Mother went to Great Neck High School together and remained friends. I tried to find Lydia to let her know when Mother passed away but had no luck. Family rumor has it that she married and settled down "in the Valley".

  2. Sure would love to know the whereabouts of Lydia Reed. I'm sure the only living star from High Society. What a great film and honor to have been a part of that movie. Lydia was delightful! Just watched it again and we are thrilled to be going to Newport, Rhode Island (next year) where this movie was filmed (or some of it). Also enjoyed Lydia in the Real McCoys. We live in California too. Would love to be in touch with Lydia and invite her to stay with us in Newport and share her story of these great stars. Happy Birthday Lydia on August 23 this year - a special year. Have a good one. Hope you are well and enjoying beautiful memories and a happy life in California. God Bless you -- An admirer born in 1949.

    1. Loved watching her & all
      McCoy watched it this morning. :)

  3. I would like to know Who Lydia Reed married...

  4. She married Mario Rodolfo Travaglini in 67 to present.

  5. What happen to lil Luke. How he died n who’s else is dead from the show

  6. "Sweet Fifteen" was not the pilot. This episode aired near the end of the second season. I just watched it on dvd.

  7. I am binge watching the entire series, and right now, the "Sweet 15" episode is playing as I write this. This was a great series.