Spring 2016

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61 SAG -AF TR A | Spring 2016 | Snapshot by Valerie Yaros Snapshot by Valerie Yaros GENE LESTER/SAG-AFTRA ARCHIVES "P resident Reagan welcomed Nancy Davis to her first board meeting" — surely the most prophetic opening to any Screen Actors Guild board minutes. This meeting began on the evening of Oct. 9, 1950, and most of the 22 other board members and officers attending would live to see them become president of the United States and first lady just over 30 years later. The future Mrs. Reagan was initially appointed as a board replacement for Ray Collins in August 1950. The minutes explain, "Discussion was had on the question of replacement. Lee Bowman urged that Nancy Davis be considered due to the fact that at the time of the last election she had indicated her willingness and desire to run for the board, but due to some confusion in membership records (two Nancy Davises), her name was not included on the ballot." Davis' Screen Actors Guild connections reached back far in advance of her 1921 birth and the Guild's 1933 founding: In September 1910, her mother, stage actress Edith Luckett, was maid of honor at the wedding of the future first president of the Guild, Ralph Morgan. Ronald Reagan's first marriage to movie star Jane Wyman, a fellow Screen Actors Guild board member, was dissolved in June 1948 by Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thurmond Clarke. The Los Angeles Times reported, "In answer to a question put by Judge Clarke, Miss Wyman said that Reagan's activities centered largely around the Screen Actors Guild, of which he is president. She said she had nothing against the Guild but lacked the intense interest her 36-year-old husband has in the organization." Amid Reagan's grief, he could have no idea that just around the corner, the future love of his life was waiting, and she would prove a partner to him in every way he could desire. She served with him on the Guild's board of directors from 1950 to 1960. Nancy's love, encouragement, support and complete belief in his political aspirations helped lift her husband to the governorship of California and the presidency of the United States. Throughout her long life, she played many roles onscreen and off, but her most cherished was that of Mrs. Ronald Reagan. She Only Had Eyes for Him N A N C Y DAV I S R E AG A N 192 1 - 2016 Jan. 9, 1952, Screen Actors Guild boardroom, 7046 Hollywood Blvd.: Guild President Ronald Reagan addresses board members. Future wife Nancy Davis gazes lovingly at him, seated in second row between George Chandler and Audrey Totter. Front row, from left, Paul Harvey, Richard Carlson, Frank Lovejoy, Louise Beavers; third row, Walter Pidgeon, Pat Somerset (staff); rear, Anne Cornwall, Frank Faylen, George Sowards, Warren Mace and Fred Clark.

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