Reagan: The Hollywood Yearsby Marc Eliot
Pub. Date: 09/08/2009
Ronald Reagan was one of the most powerful and popular American presidents. The key to understanding his political success and the remarkable likability and effortless charisma that made it possible lies embedded in his early years as a
The compelling biography of an American icon’s early years–as an aspiring actor, Hollywood star, and family man.
Ronald Reagan was one of the most powerful and popular American presidents. The key to understanding his political success and the remarkable likability and effortless charisma that made it possible lies embedded in his early years as a Hollywood movie star.
Using never-before-published interviews, documents, and other materials, acclaimed writer and biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Reagan’s film and television work opposite some of the most talented women of the time; his starlet-strewn bachelor days; his tumultuous first marriage to Jane Wyman and his career-making second marriage to Nancy Davis; his controversial eight years as the president of the Screen Actors Guild; his place in the “Irish Mafia” alongside Pat O’Brien, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, and Errol Flynn; and his friendships with Jimmy Stewart and William Holden, as well as with super-agent Lew Wasserman, who was instrumental in developing the persona that would prove essential to Reagan’s future as a world leader.
Set against the glamorous and often combative background of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Eliot’s biography provides a nuanced examination of the man and uncovers the startling origins of the legend.
“A fresh look . . . [at] the genesis of Reagan’s later public persona.”
—New York Times
“Film critic and historian Marc Eliot has dug up even more about young sportscaster ‘Dutch’ Reagan, his journey west to Hollywood, his B-movie career . . . his relationship with super-agent Lew Wasserman, and his rocky marriage to his first wife, actresss Jane Wyman.”
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Table of Contents
The Next Voice You Hear 11
From Mugs to the Movies 37
The Irish Mafia 55
Dutch and Button-Nose 79
The Gamut From a to B 103
Kings Row 125
This is the Army 159
Mr. Reagan Goes to Washington 197
Love is Lovelier 225
Falling Upward 251
The Forgetting of Things Past 279
Rendezvous with Destiny 323
Filmography and TV Appearances 353
Author's Note and Acknowledgments 364
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