Timothy L. "Tim" Reid (born December 19, 1944) is an American actor, comedian and film director best known for his roles in prime time American television programs, such as Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-82), Marcel "Downtown" Brown on Simon & Simon (1983-87), Ray Campbell on Sister, Sister (1994-99) and William Barnett on That 70's Show (2004-2006).
Reid was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Augustine (née Wilkins) and William Lee Reid. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at Norfolk State College in 1968. Reid also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. After graduation he was hired by Dupont Corporation, where he worked for three years.
Reid's entertainment career also began in 1968, under atypical circumstances. He and insurance salesman Tom Dreesen met at a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting near Chicago. They were "put together to promote an anti-drug program in the local schools" and, prompted by a comment from a child, decided to form a comedy team. The team, later billed as "Tim & Tom", was the first interracial comedy duo. Years later, Reid and Dreesen co-wrote a book about those years called Tim & Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White (ISBN 978-0-226-70900-0, co-written with sports writer Ron Rapoport).