Dick Reddy, One of Travel Film's Greats, Dead at 89
Dick Reddy, one of the truly great artists during travel adventure films’ golden age, is dead. He died in his sleep Dec. 5 in Pasadena. He was 89.
Besides his filmmaking expertise, he was also known for his fine narrations—skills that made him popular across North America with filmgoers and bookers alike.
His specialty films on the travels of Mark Twain in Europe turned him into a Twain expert and he could quote long stretches of the author’s writings—without notes.
Dick Reddy never started out to be a filmmaker. After seeing frontline action in World War II as a staff sergeant in the 7th Armored Division, he returned home to Texas and using the G.I. Bill attended North Texas State College to study journalism and earn a master’s degree.
He became a teacher and principal for several years before moving to California where he switched careers. His interest in photography and travel took him to the University of Southern California to study cinematography.
Entering the travel film field, he became an almost immediate success as he showed his travel documentaries at universities, museums, colleges and clubs across the United States and Canada.
He shot films in both eastern and western Europe. One featured a balloon ride across the Swiss Alps. Two fan favorites were Mark Twain In Switzerland and Mark Twain in Italy, both films used some of Twain’s own words.
He also was active in the formation of the artists group Impala, serving as its first President. He also played a key role in staging the organization’s early film festivals in Palm Springs.
Dick Reddy’s obituary read in part:
“In addition to film achievements, Richard Reddy was a sensitive, warm human being who was extremely articulate and possessed a brilliant intellect. He revered all of God’s creatures, large or small, but he especially loved dogs. He was a kind and generous man who gave to many causes, especially those involving the humane treatment of animals.”
He is survived by the “love of his life,” his wife of 39 years, Joan P. Reddy, his sister-in-law, Francis Reddy, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He would have been 90 next February 1.
Note: Readers are invited to add their thoughts on the passing of Dick Reddy.