"Few know the gritty byways of Hollywood moviemaking in the studio era as well as Bernard Dick, an accomplished biographer and film historian. In "The President's Ladies" he writes with aplomb and authority, backed by formidable research, about the performing careers of Ronald Reagan and his two very different actress wives, Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis, one a longtime star whose work overshadowed his, the other a minor talent who became a major political wife. I learned a great deal about their many film projects from this book."--Morris Dickstein, author of "Gates of Eden" and "Dancing in the Dark"Vom Verlag:
This book offers a fascinating look at three actors who left an indelible mark on both popular and political culture for more than fifty years. Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), a former actor and one of America's most popular presidents, married not one but two Hollywood actresses - Jane Wyman (1917-2007) and Nancy Davis (b. 1921). Jane Wyman, who married Reagan in 1940 and divorced him seven years later, knew an early life of privation. She gravitated to the movies and made her debut at fifteen as an unbilled member of the chorus, then toiled as an extra for four years until she finally received billing. She proved herself as a dramatic actress in The Lost Weekend, and the following year, she was nominated for an Oscar for The Yearling and soon won for her performance in Johnny Belinda, in which she did not speak a single line. Other Oscar nominations followed, along with a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Angela Channing in Falcon Crest. Conversely, Nancy Davis led a relatively charmed life, the daughter of an actress and the stepdaughter of a neurosurgeon. Surrounded by her mother's friends - including Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn - Davis started in the theatre, she then moved to Hollywood, enjoying modest success, before working she began working in television. When she married Reagan in 1952, she unwittingly married into politics, eventually leaving acting to concentrate on being the wife of the governor of California, and then First Lady.
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