Edward Bergman was born August 20, 1907, in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he graduated, he ended up with a career in entertainment, first as a radio announcer, under his real name, Teddy Bergman. This led to a brief career on Broadway. He was able to speak with 22 different dialects. The money was in radio in the 1930s. He was able to use two different identities: Teddy Bergman was the name he used if he was acting in serious roles and Alan Reed was used for comedic ones. Comedy won out and that became his identity for life.
He was on Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen, and Edgar Bergen. He was based in New York until the mid 1940s, when he moved to California. This ended up leading to a new career in voice acting in cartoons, as well as live action television and motion pictures.
On radio he is best remembered for the part of Falstaff on Fred Allen, Pasquale on Life with Luigi, and Mr. Clyde on My Friend Irma.
In his personal life, he was married to Finnette Walker in 1932. They had a son, Edward Bergman, Jr. (born in 1936), who was also known as Alan Reed, Jr. He was one of the actors who played Chester A. Riley, Jr., on The Life of Riley. He did a lot of television in the 1950s and 60s.
In 1960, he was cast with three other OTR stars to head up the cast of an adult cartoon series for Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, The Flintstones (the original sponsors were Winston cigarettes). The other stars were Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, and Bea Benaderet. The initial run of the series was six years. There were also motion pictures and follow up series. He continued working on the cartoon series until he died on June 14, 1977, in Los Angeles. His body was donated to the School of Medicine of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.