Her first major role was as Valerie Tatlock on Coronation Street, her character being electrocuted by a faulty hair-dryer. Reid appeared on the programme for ten years from 1961 to 1971.
She has also appeared on television in The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Benny Hill Show, Hancock's Half Hour, Boon, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, and in the celebrated sitcom dinnerladies by Victoria Wood.
Her film appearances include Love and Death on Long Island and The Mother, the latter performance winning her a BAFTA nomination in 2004.
She stars in the ITV drama series Life Begins, alongside Caroline Quentin and Alexander Armstrong . It returned for a third series in autumn 2006.
In late 2005, she appeared on stage in the West End in Epitaph for George Dillon and in July 2006 starred in School Run a short series of plays on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.