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Nancy Reagan

Nancy ReaganAKA Nancy Davis

Born: 6-Jul-1921
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady, Actor
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Reagan

Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan, was born Anne Frances Robbins. She was called 'Nancy' by her mother, and rarely saw her father; her parents were separated before she was born, and divorced shortly thereafter. Her mother, Edith Luckett, was a movie star in the silent era. In light of Nancy's eventual fame as the "Just Say No" Lady, it's interesting that one of Luckett's most popular films was The Spirit of the Poppy, a 1914 cautionary melodrama about heroin.

After her parents' divorce was finalized, Nancy's mother married an extremely prominent neurosurgeon named Loyal Davis, author of Principles of Neurological Surgery (1963). Dr. Davis was chair of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University, and for decades edited The Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Nancy came to know and love him as her father, and as a teenager, Davis tracked down her biological father -- not seeking to bond with him, but just to tell him that Dr. Davis wanted to adopt her. Dr. Davis was also loudly racist and a very conservative Republican -- the Davis household never allowed blacks into their home except as hired help. But his connections got Nancy invited to the White House Easter Egg roll when she was 7. She didn't get to meet President Calvin Coolidge, but she did get to shake hands with First Lady Grace Coolidge.

She became an actress and a low-level movie star and met Ronald Reagan in Hollywood. He was a staunch Democrat at the time, but she showed him the virtues of the Republican Party, and eventually convinced him to switch loyalties. They were married on 5 March 1952, at the Little Brown Church in the Valley in Los Angeles. Nancy was three months pregnant at the time. Nancy and Ronald appeared together in several episodes of TV's GE Theater, an anthology he hosted and occasionally acted in. One of their shared GE efforts was called "A Turkey for the President".

As First Lady, she was best known for championing the "Just Say No" campaign against drug use. Her demanding manner in the White House led staff to nickname her "Dragon Lady". She was also a notorious tightwad, and any gifts to anyone but the closest friends were usually just rewrapped from the endless incoming gifts for the President and First Lady. Her use of astrology became the butt of jokes -- she was known to consult psychics and often changed the president's schedule accordingly.

She also reportedly couldn't stand her husband's Vice President, George H.W. Bush. In 2004, she publicly urged his son, President George W. Bush, to stop blocking embryonic stem cell research, arguing that it could lead to a cure for her husband's Alzheimer's. She also nixed the idea of enthusiastic millionaires who wanted to start "Ronald Reagan University", and expressed her disapproval of a move to replace Franklin D. Roosevelt with her husband's face on the obverse of the American dime.

Father: Kenneth Seymour Robbins (salesman, b. Nov-1890, d.)
Mother: Edith Luckett (actress, b. 1-Jul-1896, d. 26-Oct-1987)
Father: Loyal Davis (adoptive, neurosurgeon, b. 16-Jul-1896, d. 19-Aug-1982)
Husband: Ronald Reagan (US President, b. 6-Feb-1911, m. 4-Mar-1952, d. 5-Jun-2004)
Daughter: Maureen Reagan (stepdaughter, b. 4-Oct-1941, d. 8-Aug-2001)
Son: Michael Reagan (stepson, talk show host, b. 18-Apr-1945)
Daughter: Patti Davis (b. 21-Oct-1952)
Son: Ron Reagan (talk show host, b. 20-May-1958)

    High School: Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC (1939)
    University: BA Theater, Smith College (1943)

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    Afghanistan World Foundation Honorary Chairperson
    Alzheimer's Association Honorary Board of Directors
    D.A.R.E.
    Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Honorary Chairwoman, Executive Advisory Board
    Kennedy Center Honorary Chair
    Congressional Gold Medal
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 9-Jul-2002
    Silver Buffalo 1988
    Adopted
    Mastectomy Bethesda Naval Hospital, 23-Oct-1987
    Secret Service Codename Rainbow
    Traveled to the USSR May-1988
    Wedding: Larry Fortensky and Elizabeth Taylor (1991)
    Funeral: Michael Landon (1991)
    Funeral: Richard Nixon (1994)
    Funeral: Gerald Ford (2007)
    Funeral: Ronald Reagan (2004)
    Risk Factors: Breast Cancer

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Crash Landing (1958)
    Hellcats of the Navy (May-1957)
    Donovan's Brain (30-Sep-1953) · Janice Cory
    Shadow in the Sky (18-Jul-1952) · Betty
    Talk About a Stranger (18-Apr-1952) · Marge Fontaine
    It's a Big Country (20-Nov-1951) · Miss Coleman
    Night Into Morning (8-Jun-1951)
    The Next Voice You Hear... (29-Jun-1950) · Mrs. Joe Smith
    Shadow on the Wall (19-May-1950)
    East Side, West Side (22-Dec-1949) · Helen Lee
    The Doctor and the Girl (29-Sep-1949) · Mariette

Rotten Library Page:
Nancy Reagan

Appears on the cover of:
Life, Oct-1983, DETAILS: Nancy Reagan, First Ranch Lady, BYLINE: (photo by Harry Benson, of Nancy on a large rocking horse)
People, 15-Dec-2003, DETAILS: (with Ronald Reagan) The Reagans -- Their Life Now

Author of books:
Nancy (1981, memoir, with Bill Libby)
To Love a Child (1982)
My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan (1991, memoir)


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