USA Today 13.11.1985



Behind the scenes with people in headlines

U.S. singer tops the charts in Soviet bloc

Fans have mobbed Dean Reed in Moscow. But the singer/actor is just another face in his native Denver as his hit song, Nobody Knows Me Back in My Hometown, attests.

Today, he's in for star treatment as he stops in Athens, Ohio, for the Ohio premiere of his biographical film, American Rebel.

He has been called the Johnny Cash of communism, but Reed insists, "I'm a puppet of nobody and a member of no political party."

Reed, 47, has made 18 films and 13 records in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. His albums sell millions of copies, but he is paid about $600 per recording.

He and his third wife, actress Renate Blume, lead a "modest and working class" life in East Berlin, Germany.

"Dean is unlike any person I've ever known and I find it amazing so few people have heard of him in America," said producer Will Roberts, who followed Reed across four continents in four years to make American Rebel.

A University of Colorado dropout, Reed went to Hollywood in 1958 to study acting und record love songs for Capitol Records. Our Summer Romance was a big hit in South America, where Reed spent much of the 1960s and early 1970s performing.

He was recruited by the Soviets after performing at a 1965 World Peace Council gathering in Finland.

"Even though to a third of the world I'm a household name. I hate the word superstar," said Reed. "I see myself as and artist and humanitarian."

Reed, who retains his U.S. citizenship, will spend the next year in the Soviet Union making a film based on the Battle of Wounded Knee. The film, Bloody Heart, is scheduled for release in 1988.

Reed confides he misses "the friendly open people... in Colorado," but he says he would return to the USA to live under certain conditions.

"I want to pursue me career with dignity," he says. "I will not go on television and sell Coca-Cola."

George Lurie

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