|Nancy Davis Reagan|
|First Lady of the United States|
January 20 1981 – January 20 1989
|Preceded by||Rosalynn Carter|
|Succeeded by||Barbara Bush|
|First Lady of California|
January 3 1967 – January 7 1975
|Preceded by||Bernice Layne|
|Succeeded by||Gloria Saatjian|
|Born||July 6, 1921
Flushing, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ronald Reagan (1952–2004)|
|Relations||Kenneth Seymour Robbins and Edith Luckett|
|Alma mater||Smith College|
|Occupation||First Lady of the United States|
Nancy Davis Reagan (born July 6, 1921) is the widow of Ronald Reagan, the former President of the United States. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Before her marriage to Ronald Reagan on 4th March 1952, she had acted in many movies.
Early life[change | edit source]
Flushing, New York is her birthplace. Her name at the time of her birth was Anne Frances Robbins. The names of her parents were Kenneth Seymour Robbins and Edith Luckett. Edith Luckett was an actress. When Nancy was six years old, her mother married Dr. Loyal Davis. Dr. Loyal Davis was a neurosurgeon. Dr. Davis adopted Nancy as his daughter when she was 16 years old. She changed her name to Nancy Davis because this. She spent her childhood in Chicago, Illinois. She was also goddaughter of Russia-born silent film star Alla Nazimova. Nancy studied at Girls' Latin School and at Smith College in Massachusetts. From Smith College, she majored in theater.
Actress[change | edit source]
After her graduation, she became an actress. She acted in many plays and movies. One of them was the hit musical Lute Song. She became famous as Nancy Davis. She performed in 11 films from 1949 to 1956. In a movie named Hellcats of the Navy (1957), she played opposite her husband. Her last film was 1958's Crash Landing. After this, she appeared in television dramas until 1962. After 1962, she retired as an actor.
In most of her roles in plays and movies, Nancy Davis played decent characters.
Marriage and family[change | edit source]
She met Ronald Reagan in 1951. At that time Reagan was the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Another actress with the same name (of Nancy) had appeared in a Hollywood blacklist. This name confusion had created problems for Nancy. Anyone with his or her name in the Hollywood blacklist was unable to get any work in any movie. As she would not get any roles due to the name in the Hollywood blacklist, she met Reagan to clear this issue. Over a period of time, they came closer to each other. They married on 4th March 1952 in Los Angeles, California. Nancy once remembered: "My life really began when I married my husband." 
The Reagans had two children. She gave birth to a daughter Patti Davis on 21st October 1952, seven months after the couple's wedding. She gave birth to a son named Ron Reagan on 20th May 1958. Nancy Reagan is also stepmother to Michael Reagan and the late Maureen Reagan, the children of Ronald Reagan's first marriage to actress Jane Wyman.
California First Lady[change | edit source]
Ronald Reagan was governor of California for two terms, from 1967 to 1975. During this period, Nancy Reagan was the First Lady of California.
The officials of the fire department had described official residence of the Governor in Sacramento, California as a “firetrap”. She, therefore, shifted to a wealthy suburb. Some people thought the shifting as an arrogant step.
She was very active as the First lady of California. She visited war veterans, the elderly persons, and the handicapped persons. She also worked with many groups working for charity. One such program was the Foster Grandparent Program. She continued her association with the Foster grandparent program when she came to the Washington as the First Lady of the United States.
The First Lady[change | edit source]
When Ronald Reagan became the president of the United States in 1981, Nancy Reagan began her role actively as the First Lady.
In her early years as the First Lady, a private foundation purchased new dishware for the White House. The cost was $ 200,000. This attracted bad publicity, as the US economy was facing recession at that time. She also used expensive fashion. This also attracted bad publicity sometimes. However, once in 1982 at Gridiron Club, she dressed in ragged clothes and sang "Second-Hand Rose". . This lessened the criticism to some extent.
Nancy Reagan took close interest in the affairs of the White House. Some people believe that she exercised some influence over many matters, particularly during her husband’s second term as the President of the United States. People also remember her for conservative fashions copied by many women of her time. She was also against use of drugs by young persons.
She also got interested in astrology as the First Lady. She used the services of Joan Quigley who was an astrologer. In 1981, her husband faced an assassination attempt. This made Nancy rely on astrology and she tried to influence appointments and movements of her husband based on astrology. At that time the White House Chief of Staff was Donald Regan. He did not find this very useful. There was a struggle between Donald Regan and the First Lady. Donald Regan resigned in 1987.
In 1991 Kitty Kelley wrote a book about her. The book’s name is Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography. The book became very famous and sold many copies. The book gives certain details like the former First Lady's association with astrology and White House meetings with Frank Sinatra.
In 1983 Reagan, Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State) and philanthropists Barbara and Marvin Davis, appeared in an episode of the very popular soap opera Dynasty (TV series). In addition, Reagan appeared as herself in an episode of the popular sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to underscore her support for her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign.
Later life[change | edit source]
Nancy Reagan currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She spent much of her time caring for her husband who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He died on 5th June 2004. She requested President George W. Bush to support research in the hopes that such research would lead to a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
In 2004, Bob Colacello wrote a book "Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911-1980", published by Warner Books.
In popular culture[change | edit source]
- She is played by Jane Fonda in the 2013 movie The Butler. Alan Rickman plays her husband Ronald.
- Mission of Burma's 2006 album, The Obliterati, has a song named "Nancy Reagan's Head". The song has this line: "I'm haunted by the freakish size of Nancy Reagan's head / no way that thing came with that body."
- Sun City Girls is a group of singers. In 1987 they released an album, Horse Cock Phepner. The album had a song named "Nancy Reagan".
References[change | edit source]
- "Nancy Reagan - Fast Facts". CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/us/nancy-reagan-fast-facts/index.html. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
Other websites[change | edit source]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Nancy Reagan|