Ronald Reagan in Hollywood

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photoRonald Reagan is being laid to rest under the golden light of a California sunset tonight. It was in Hollywood that Ronald Reagan found his footing. It was in an acting career that spanned two decades that the nation was introduced to a future President.

From 1937 to 1964, Ronald Reagan made almost 60 films. Reagan was never a huge star, but he made a good living. He once called himself the "Errol Flynn of B-Movies." But Hollywood schooled him, and acting taught him how to sell an idea, and nail an emotion. It polished a persona that drove a political power house: Ronald Reagan, the manly, plain-spoken, sunny, all-American boy from Illinois.

Click the "Listen" link to hear about Ronald Reagan's life in film and his years in Hollywood.


Stephen Vaughn, professor of journalism and history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst, senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on June 11, 2004.


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