Vice President, Talent & casting, BET
Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Rosie Perez Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah have something in common with Emmy Award-winning Casting Director Robi Reed. She has the magic touch. Blessed with an eye for talent and a gift for spotting a diamond in the rough, her career has spanned almost 30 years. Reed has had a hand in the careers of many and is known for taking the ordinary and creating the extraordinary. Her ability to match a role with the perfect choice has made household names out of Jamie Foxx, who she discovered at a local comedy club in Los Angeles and Mekhi Phifer, who she plucked from an open casting call. Reed has more than 50 films to her credit, including blockbusters Soul Food, The Best Man, For Colored Girls, Love Jones, Set It Off and Antwone Fisher, in which she cast Derek Luke in his first leading role. Her first studio film came with Spike Lee’s School Daze. She went on to cast Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Crooklyn, Clockers ,Malcolm X and Jungle Fever breaking out two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry.
The demand for Reed’s eye for talent grew way past the silver screen to a multitude of television projects, including Oprah Winfrey’s The Game, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Showtime’s series Barbershop, The Tracey Morgan Show, Girlfriends, The PJ’s, In Living Color, A Different World and Roc for which she was nominated for a Casting Society of America (CSA) Award for best casting. She also cast Beyoncé Knowles in her first acting role in MTV’s The Fighting Temptations.
In 1997 she earned an Emmy Award for her outstanding work in casting
The Tuskegee Airmen for HBO Pictures. The following year Reed received a second Emmy nomination for her work on HBO’s Only in America: The Don King Story and in the next year after that a third Emmy nomination came for HBO's A Lesson Before Dying. In 1993 she received the Turner Trumpet Award for the ACE Award-winning Film Heatwave. Her efforts for Spike Lee’s Malcolm X earned her a CSA Award in 1992.
After 27 years of running her own company, Robi Reed Entertainment, Reed joined the executive ranks at Black Entertainment Television (BET). In her position as Vice President of Talent and Casting for Original Programming, where she oversees and casts a scripted and non-scripted shows for the network. Of these shows are including the hugely successful 3 night mini series The New Edition Story. Satisfying her philanthropic nature, Reed launched The Reed For Hope Foundation (RFHF). RFHF’s mission is to improve the vitality of the global village by changing specific cultural attitudes about wellness, disease prevention and health disparities through the strategic implementation of messages that impact pop culture.
Reed holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Speech Communication and Theatre from Hampton University. She is the proud mother of Noah Humes and Summer Humes.