Ronald Reagan filmography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
back of man sitting in a director's chair
Ronald Reagan as the host of General Electric Theater

The filmography of Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) includes many motion pictures and television episodes. Reagan's acting career began in 1937 when he contracted with Warner Bros. Apart from his absence during World War II, he would make most of his movies with Warner Bros. With the studio he starred in such films as Dark Victory, Knute Rockne, All American and Kings Row – which was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1942.

During World War II Reagan served in the Army Air Force, assigned to the film production unit. He acted and narrated military training films such as Recognition of the Japanese Zero Fighter and Beyond the Line of Duty, the latter of which later won the Academy Award for Best Short film. He returned to acting after the war but never achieved stardom. In 1952 he married fellow actress Nancy Davis.

As film roles began to dwindle in the late 1950s, he turned to television, where he hosted and acted in a number of programs, most notably the General Electric Theatre. His acting career came to an end in 1965, and he became active in politics, being elected to two terms as Governor of California, and then serving two terms as President of the United States.


Entertainment career

Reagan, born in Illinois, moved to California and took a screen test in 1937 that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Bros.[1] He spent the first few years of his Hollywood career in the "B film" unit, where, Reagan joked, the producers "didn't want them good, they wanted them Thursday".[2] While sometimes overshadowed by other actors, Reagan's screen performances did receive many good reviews.[2]

His first screen credit was the starring role in the 1937 movie Love Is on the Air, and by the end of 1939 he had already appeared in 19 films.[3] In 1938 he starred alongside Jane Wyman in Brother Rat. They married in 1940, having a child, Maureen, and adopting a son, Michael. The marriage ended in divorce in 1948.[4]

None of you ever knew George Gipp. It was long before your time. But you know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame... And the last thing he said to me – "Rock," he said – "sometime, when the team is up against it – and the breaks are beating the boys – tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper... I don't know where I'll be then, Rock", he said – "but I'll know about it – and I'll be happy."
Pat O'Brien as Knute Rockne[5]

Before Santa Fe Trail in 1940, he played the role of George "The Gipper" Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American; from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname "the Gipper".[6] In 1941 exhibitors voted him the fifth most popular star from the younger generation in Hollywood.[7] Reagan's favorite acting role was as a double amputee in 1942's Kings Row,[8] in which he recites the line, "Where's the rest of me?", later used as the title of his 1965 autobiography.[9] Many film critics considered Kings Row to be his best movie,[9] though the film was condemned by The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther.[10][11] Although Reagan considered Kings Row the film that "made me a star",[12] he was unable to capitalize on his success because he was ordered to active duty two months after its release, and never regained the "stardom" which he had previously enjoyed.[12]

After the outbreak of war, Reagan, an officer in the Army Reserve, was ordered to active duty in April 1942.[13] Upon the approval of the Army Air Force (AAF), he was transferred to the AAF and was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit (officially, the 18th AAF Base Unit) in Culver City, California.[14] In January 1943, he was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California.[14] He returned to the First Motion Picture Unit after completing this duty and was promoted to Captain.[15] By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the AAF[15] including Beyond the Line of Duty, The Rear Gunner, and This is the Army.

Following military service Reagan resumed his film work. In 1947 Reagan was elected to the position of president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).[16] He was subsequently chosen by the membership to serve seven additional one-year terms, from 1947 to 1952 and in 1959.[16] Reagan led SAG through eventful years that were marked by labor-management disputes, the Taft-Hartley Act, House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the Hollywood blacklist era.[16]

He met fellow star Nancy Davis in 1950 and they married two years later; the marriage, one of the closest in U.S. political history,[17] resulted in two children: Patti and Ron.[17] Reagan continued his acting career, making films such as The Voice of the Turtle, Bedtime for Bonzo, The Winning Team and Cattle Queen of Montana. Though an early critic of television, Reagan landed fewer film roles in the late 1950s and decided to join the medium.[2] He was hired as the host of General Electric Theater, a series of weekly dramas that became very popular.[2] His contract required him to tour General Electric (GE) plants 16 weeks out of the year, often demanding of him 14 speeches per day.[2] Eventually, the ratings for Reagan's show fell off and GE dropped Reagan in 1962.[18] Reagan, a liberal Democrat, soon began to embrace the conservative views of General Electric's officials,[19][20] in particular those of Lemuel Boulware. The GE executive championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism: free markets, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government.[21] After General Electric Theatre, Reagan became a politician and in 1980 was elected to President of the United States.

Throughout his film career, his mother often answered much of his fan mail.[22] Ronald Reagan was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when the walk was dedicated on February 9, 1960.[23]


Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Trailer from Love is on the Air starring Reagan, 1937
photograph of people at a bar in formal wear with label "She's everything a woman can dare to be"
Screenshot from Dark Victory trailer, 1939
photograph of a man and woman
Reagan and Jane Wyman in Brother Rat, 1938
a gathering of men in an American West scene with the two in the foreground peeling potatoes
Ronald Reagan and Errol Flynn in Santa Fe Trail
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Reagan in Kings Row. Trailer from the 1942 film.
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Ronald Reagan and Joan Leslie in This is the Army, 1943 (clip)
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis in 1957 in Hellcats of the Navy (trailer)
Films of Ronald Reagan
1937Love Is on the AirAndy McCaine
Hollywood HotelRadio announcer (uncredited)
1938Sergeant MurphyPrivate Dennis Reilley
Swing Your LadyJack Miller
Accidents Will HappenEric Gregg
Cowboy from BrooklynPat Dunn
The Amazing Dr. ClitterhouseRadio announcer (uncredited)
Boy Meets GirlRadio announcer at premiere
Girls on ProbationNeil Dillon
Brother RatDan CrawfordCo-starring Jane Wyman
Going PlacesJack Withering
1939Secret Service of the AirLieutenant "Brass" BancroftFirst of the Bancroft series
Dark VictoryAlec Hamm
Code of the Secret ServiceLieutenant "Brass" BancroftSecond in Bancroft series
Naughty but NiceEd "Eddie" Clark
Hell's Kitchen'Jim Donohue
The Angels Wash Their FacesDeputy District Attorney Patrick "Pat" Remson
Smashing the Money RingLieutenant "Brass" BancroftThird in the Bancroft series
Sword FishingNarratorAcademy Award Nomination-Best Short
1940Brother Rat and a BabyDan CrawfordCo-starring Jane Wyman
An Angel from TexasMarty AllenWith Jane Wyman
Murder in the AirLieutenant "Brass" BancroftFourth film in the Bancroft series
Knute Rockne, All AmericanGeorge "The Gipper" Gipp
Tugboat Annie Sails AgainEddie KentWith Jane Wyman
Alice in MovielandHimself (uncredited)[24]
Santa Fe TrailGeorge Armstrong Custer
1941The Bad ManGilbert "Gil" Jones
Million Dollar BabyPeter "Pete" Rowan
International SquadronJimmy Grant
Nine Lives Are Not EnoughMatt Saywer
1942Recognition of the Japanese Zero FighterLt. SaundersShort
Kings RowDrake McHughAcademy Award Nomination-Best Picture
Juke GirlSteve Talbo
Mister Gardenia JonesGardenia JonesAcademy Award Nomination-Best Short
Desperate JourneyJohnny Hammond
Beyond the Line of Duty[25]Narrator (voice)Academy Award Win-Best Short
1943Cadet ClassificationNarratorShort
The Rear Gunner[25]Lieutenant AmesAcademy Award Nomination-Best Short
For God and CountryFather Michael O'KeefeShort
This is the ArmyCpl. Johnny JonesAcademy Award Win-Scoring of a Musical Picture; Academy Award Nomination-Best Sound
1945Target TokyoNarrator (voice)[25][26]
The Fight for the SkyNarratorShort
The Stilwell RoadNarrator
Wings for This ManNarrator
1947Stallion RoadLarry Hanrahan
That Hagen GirlTom Bates
The Voice of the TurtleSergeant Bill PageReissued as One for the Book
1949John Loves MaryJohn Lawrence
Night Unto NightJohn Galen
The Girl from Jones BeachBob Randolph
The Hasty HeartYank
It's a Great FeelingCameo
1950LouisaHarold "Hal" Norton
1951The Big TruthNarrator/Host
Storm WarningBurt Rainey
The Last OutpostCaptain Vance Brittenaka Calvary Charge
Bedtime for BonzoProfessor Peter Boyd
1952Hong KongJeff Williams
The Winning TeamGrover Cleveland Alexander
She's Working Her Way Through CollegeProfessor John Palmer
1953Tropic ZoneDan McCloud
Law and OrderFrame Johnson
1954Prisoner of WarWebb Sloane
Cattle Queen of MontanaFarrell
1955Tennessee's PartnerCowpoke
1957Hellcats of the NavyCommander Casey AbbottCo-starring Nancy Davis
1961The Young DoctorsNarrator (voice)
1963Heritage of SplendorNarratorShort
1964The KillersJack Browning


Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
Ronald Reagan introduces the GE Theatre episode, "The Honest Man", 1957 (clip)
photograph of a group of people
Publicity photograph from The Dick Powell Show. Reagan is on the left. 1961.
Television appearances of Ronald Reagan
1950Nash Airflyte TheatreTommy Blunt"The Case of the Missing Lady"
1952Hollywood Opening Night"The Priceless Gift"
1953Medallion Theatre"A Job for Jimmy Valentine"
1953The Revlon Mirror Theater'"Next Stop: Bethlehem"
1953–54Lux Video TheatreMerle Fisher"A Place in the Sun"
"Message in a Bottle"
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"The Edge of Battle"
"The Jungle Trap"
"The Doctor Comes Home"
The Ford Television TheatreLieutenant Commander Masterson"Beneath These Waters"
Steve Wentworth"And Suddenly, You Knew"
"The First Born"
1954–62General Electric TheaterHostHosted 235 teleplays;
acted in 35
1956General Electric Summer Originals"Jungle Trap"
1960The DuPont Show with June AllysonAlan Royce"The Way Home"
StartimeHost"The Swingin' Years"
"The Swingin' Singin' Years"
1961Zane Grey TheaterMajor Will Sinclair"The Long Shadow"
1961–63The Dick Powell ShowGuest Host"The Last of the Private Eyes"
Rex Kent"Who Killed Julie Greer?"
1963Wagon TrainCaptain Paul Winters"The Fort Pierce Story"
1964Kraft Suspense TheatreJudge Howard R. Stimming"A Cruel and Unusual Night"
1964–65Death Valley DaysHostActed in eight episodes



(for releases not mentioned in the "General" sources)

  1. ^ "Biography > A Hero from the Heartland". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cannon, Lou (June 6, 2004). "Actor, Governor, President, Icon". The Washington Post: p. A01. Retrieved January 26, 2008.
  3. ^ "Ronald Reagan > Hollywood Years". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  4. ^ Severo, Richard. (September 11, 2007). "Jane Wyman, 90, Star of Film and TV, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  5. ^ "Knute Rockne's "Win One for the Gipper" Speech". University of Notre Dame. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Cannon (2001), p. 15
  7. ^ "Cupid's Influence on the Film Box-Office.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848–1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia): p. 7 Supplement: The Argus Week-end Magazine. October 4, 1941. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  8. ^ Reagan, Ronald (1965). Where's the Rest of Me?. New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce. ISBN 0-283-98771-5.
  9. ^ a b Wood, Brett. "Kings Row". TCM website. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
  10. ^ Crowther, Bosley (February 3, 1942). "The Screen; 'Kings Row,' With Ann Sheridan and Claude Rains, a Heavy, Rambling Film, Has Its First Showing Here at the Astor". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2007.
  11. ^ Cannon (2003), pp. 56–57
  12. ^ a b Friedrich, Otto (1997). City of nets: a portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s. University of California Press (reprint). pp. 86–89. ISBN 978-0-520-20949-7.
  13. ^ "USS Ronald Reagan: Ronald Reagan". United States Navy. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  14. ^ a b "President Ronald Reagan". National Museum of the United States Air Force. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  15. ^ a b "Military service of Ronald Reagan". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved June 22, 2007.
  16. ^ a b c "Screen Actors Guild Presidents: Ronald Reagan". Screen Actors Guild. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  17. ^ a b "End of a Love Story". BBC News. June 5, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  18. ^ Cannon (2003), p. 113.
  19. ^ "Corporate spokesman and rising conservative – Ronald Reagan – policy, election, foreign". Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "The Education of Ronald Reagan". Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  21. ^ Thomas W. Evans, The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism (2008).
  22. ^ Skinner, et. al. (2003), p. 836
  23. ^ "Ronald Reagan’s Pre-Presidential Time Line, 1911–1980". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  24. ^ Stephanie Thames. "Jean Negulesco Shorts". Turner Entertainment Networks. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  25. ^ a b c Helfer, Andrew (author), Steve Buccatello (artist), and Joe Station (artist). Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography. Hill and Wang. 25.
  26. ^ "Target Tokyo." Victory in the Pacific. PBS. Accessed October 9, 2008.
  • Cannon, Lou; Beschloss, Michael (2001). Ronald Reagan: The Presidential Portfolio: A History Illustrated from the Collection of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum. PublicAffairs. ISBN 1-891620-84-3.
  • Cannon, Lou (2003). Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-284-8.
  • Reagan, Ronald (2003). Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, Martin Anderson. ed. Reagan: A Life in Letters. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-1967-8.

Further reading

External links