Brown - Dark
Place of Death
Los Angeles, CA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
40th US President, 1981-89
Actor/Actress, Other Crew, Soundtrack
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Profile Bio Text
Ronald Reagan is, arguably, the most successful actor in history, having catapulted from a career as a Warner Bros. contract player and later television star into the governorship of California and two terms as President of the United States. As president, his folksy oratory skills earned him the sobriquet "The Great Communicator" while his his movie-star charisma helped him avoid responsibility for breaches of the public trust that might have resulted in impeachment for a lesser mortal. For that intrepid skill, being able to deflect the muck of partisan politics and the detritus left in the wake of his administration`s own insalubrious activities, his reign became known as "The Teflon Presidency." His starlight remained strong even to the end of his term, when his contract with the American people lapsed, and it renewed itself before he shuffled off this mortal coil, hailed as the man who lifted the Iron Curtain.
The young Reagan was a staunch admirer of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (even after he evolved into a Republican) and was a Democrat in the 1940s, a self-described `hemophilliac` liberal. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947 and served five years during the most tumultuous times to ever hit Hollywood. A committed anti-communist, Reagan not only fought more-militantly activist movie industry unions that he and others felt had been infiltrated by communists, but had to deal with the investigation into Hollywood`s politics launched by the House Un-Amercan Activities Committee in 1947, an inquisition that lasted through the 1950s. The House Un-American Activities Committee investigations of Hollywood (which led to the jailing of the "Hollywood Ten" in the late `40s) sowed the seeds of the McCarthyism that racked Hollywood and America in the 1950s.
In 1950, U.S. Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas (D-CA), the wife of "Dutch" Reagan`s friend Melvyn Douglas, ran as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate and was opposed by the Republican nominee, the Red-bating Congresman from Whittier, Richard Nixon. While Nixon did not go so far as to accuse Gahagan Douglas of being a communist herself, he did charge her with being soft on communism due to her opposition to the House Un-Amercan Activities Committee. Nixon tarred her as a "fellow traveler" of communists, a "pinko" who was "pink right down to her underwear." Gahagan Douglas was defeated by the man she was the first to call "Tricky Dicky" because of his unethical behavior and dirty campaign tactics. Reagan was on the Douglases` side during that campaign.
The Douglases, like Reagan and such other prominent actors as Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson, were liberal Democrats, supporters of the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal, a legacy that increasingly was under attack by the right after World War II. They were NOT fellow-travelers; Melyvn Douglas had actually been an active anti-communist and was someone the communists despised. Melvyn Douglas, Robinson and Henry Fonda - a registered Republican! - wound up "gray-listed." (They weren`t explicitly black-listed, they just weren`t offered any work.) Reagan, who it was later revealed had been an F.B.I. informant while a union leader (turning in suspected communists), was never hurt that way, as he made S.A.G. an accomplice of the black-listing.
Reagan`s career sagged after the late 1940s, and he started appearing in B-movies after he left Warners to go free-lance. However, he had a eminence grise par excellence in Lew Wasserman, his agent and the head of the Music Corp. of America. Wasserman, later called "The Pope of Hollywood," was the genius who figured out that an actor could make a killing via a tax windfall by turning himself into a corporation. The corporation, which would employ the actor, would own part of a motion picture the actor appeared in, and all monies would accrue to the corporation, which was taxed at a much lower rate than was personal income. Wasserman pioneered this tax avoidance scheme with his client James Stewart, beginning with the Anthony Mann western Winchester `73 (1950) (1950). It made Stewart enormously rich as he became a top box office draw in the 1950s after the success of "Winchester 73" and several more Mann-directed westerns, all of which he had an ownership stake in.
Ironically, Reagan became a poor-man`s James Stewart in the early 1950s, appearing in westerns, but they were mostly B-pictures. He dd not have the acting chops of the great Stewart, but he did have his agent. Wasserman at M.C.A. was one of the pioneers of television syndication, and this was to benefit Reagan enormously. M.C.A. was the only talent agency that was also allowed to be a producer through an exemption to union rules granted by S.A.G. when Reagan was the union president, and it used the exemption to acquire Universal International Pictures. Talent agents wer
Couple Profile Source
Northside High School, Dixon, IL (1928)
Eureka College, Peoria, IL (1932)
Full Name at Birth
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Rock Hudson, John Wayne, Robert Taylor, Bob Hope, Kevin Costner, William Holden, Dick Powell, George Murphy, Justin Dart, Jack Carson, Errol Flynn, Dennis Morgan, Alexis Smith, Craig Stevens, Lew Wasserman, Frank Sinatra, Ann Sheridan, Regis Toomey, Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Red Skelton, Greer Garson, Pat O'Brien, Colleen Moore, Edgar Bergen, Lucille Ball, Irene Dunne, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley Temple Black, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Hal B. Wallis, Claudette Colbert, George Burns, Dick Carlson, Mervyn Leroy, Eddie Albert, Owen Crump, Mary Livingston, Dana Andrews, Melvyn Douglas, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Hattie McDaniel, Glenn Ford, Doris Duke, Vincent Sherman
Politician, President of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor, Author
John Reagan (father)
Nelle Reagan (mother)
Lee Bowman, Rosemary DeCamp, June Allyson
Ronald Wilson Reagan (; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor, who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he served as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as an actor and union leader in Hollywood.
(1960) TV commercial: Borateem., (1951) Magazine advertisement: Jeris antiseptic hair tonic., (1965/66) TV commercial with Patti Davis: Boraxo hand cleaner and soap (on the set of "Death Valley Days" (1952)., (1952) Magazine ad: Chesterfield cigarettes.
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Deceased||Ronald Reagan passed away on 5th Jun 2004 aged 93.|||