Early Reagan

Anne Edwards, Author William Morrow & Company $0 (617p) ISBN 978-0-688-06050-3
Edwards traces Reagan's acting career from start to finish, and his gradual shift from fervent Roosevelt Democrat to the day in 1966 when he announced his candidacy, as a Republican, for governor of California. She refutes Reagan's claim that he was typecast as an actor, that the studios offered him second-rate roles in revenge for his union demands as president of the Screen Actors Guild. (Perhaps the most revealing section of the book revolves around his aggressive leadership of that organization.) Reagan's marriage to Jane Wyman and the early years of his marriage to the former Nancy Davis are covered, along with interesting tidbits about his relationships with acting colleagues, directors, gossip columnists and his boss of many years, studio head Jack Warner. As a Hollywood biography, the book is only mildly interesting, but as a political biography it is intriguing; Edwards (Sonya, etc.) skillfully combines the two elements into a unique drama that should find many readers. Photos. (July 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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