TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (5)
|Also Known As:||Died:||June 5, 2004|
|Born:||February 6, 1911||Cause of Death:||pneumonia|
|Birth Place:||Tampico, Illinois, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Moved to Dixon, Illinois when he was nine (date approximate)
Began career as a sportscaster, first for radio station WOC in Davenport, Iowa, and later for WHO in Des Moines, with which WOC merged; announced the baseball games of the Chicago Cubs
While in California covering baseball's spring training, spotted by a Warner Bros. agent and offered a screen test
Signed by Warner Bros.; film debut in "Love Is on the Air" playing a radio announcer
First film with future wife Jane Wyman, "Brother Rat"
Played George Gipp in "Knute Rockne--All American"
Portrayed George Armstrong Custer in Michael Curtiz's "Santa Fe Trail"
Acted with Wyman in three films, "An Angel from Texas", "Brother Rat and a Baby" and "Tugboat Annie Sails Again"
Delivered what is considered his finest screen performance in "King's Row"
Served as a captain in the US Air Force, assigned mainly to the production of training films
Managed to testify before HUAC without naming names
Served as president of the Screen Actors Guild
Delivered sensitive performance in Vincent Sherman's "The Hasty Heart", one of two films that year with Patricia Neal (also "John Loves Mary")
Went on half-salary with Warner Bros. (unhappy with his recent box office performance) to make one film a year for the remaining three years of his contract, freeing him to work elsewhere; immediately signed a five-picture deal with Universal
Played chimpanzee-raising professor in the schlock movie "Bedtime for Bonzo"
Portrayed major league baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander in "The Winning Team"
Was one of a group of well-known Democrats who signed a telegram urging Dwight Eisenhower to become their party's candidate for president
Desperate for work, briefly tried stand-up comedy in Las Vegas
Hosted ABC's "The Orchid Award", a musical variety show which formed a half-hour block with Walter Winchell's news and gossip program
Hosted "General Electric Theater" on CBS (also starred in some episodes); as company spokesman visited all 139 GE plants in 38 states, meeting some 250,000 employees
Acted opposite second wife Nancy Davis in "Hellcats of the Navy"
Again served as SAG president
Despite being a Democrat, supported Richard Nixon for US President
Registered as a Republican and campaigned for Nixon's unsuccessful bid for the California governorship
Supported Barry Goldwater for US President and gave a ringing endorsement of free enterprise while attacking Communism in a speech known as "A Time for Choosing", telecast as a half-hour paid political spot which raised almost $1 million dollars for the Republican party in the last week of the campaign and launched him as a national political figure
Final feature film, "The Killers"; played brutal crime kingpin who slapped Angie Dickinson around; originally filmed for TV but deemed too violent for the small screen
Published first autobiography, "Where's the Rest of Me?"
Hosted syndicated series "Death Valley Days"
Left show business for politics
Elected as governor of California; served two terms
Entered Republican primary for US Presidency
In February brought in the California Highway Patrol to break a student strike in Berkeley; after three months of escalating violence culminating in bloody riots, brought back the Highway Patrol, bolstered by the Alameda County sheriff's deputies; finally sent in the National Guard and occupied the city for 17 days
Income as a private citizen jumped to $800,000 (from his $49,000 salary as governor), mostly from speaking engagements, a syndicated column in 174 newspapers and a taped weekly commentary to more than 200 radio stations
Challenged incumbent Gerald Ford for the US Presidency during the Republican primary; narrowly lost
Elected President of the United States
Survived assassination attempt of March 30, quipping to his surgeons from the operating table, "Please tell me you're all Republicans"
Re-elected to a second term as US President
Published second memoir "An American Life"
In an open letter to the people of the USA in November, disclosed that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease
Showtime airs controversial telefilm "The Reagans" after CBS dropped out of the project deciding that it did not present a fair portrayal of the Reagans. Film starred James Brolin and Judy Davis as the Reagans, both were nominated for Golden Globes for their performances.
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute