His Days in Hollywood: Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004)

In 1966, Movie Mogul Jack Warner returned from a European trip to hear that an actor who used to work for him was running for Governor of California. "No, no," Warner famously said. "Jimmy Stewart for Governor. Ronald Reagan for Best Friend." Second lead. Second best. Best friend. Genial loser. That was Reagan throughout his 15-year tenure at Warner Bros. and in most of his films. In the 1939 Dark Victory he played the bon-vivant boozer who loses Bette Davis to George Brent and a brain tumor. As the young George Armstrong Custer in the 1940 Santa Fe Trail, he lost...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!