Ronald Reagan's Top 10 Movie Roles
Dark Victory, 1939
"No, no," studio boss Jack Warner famously said when he heard the actor was running for governor of California. "Jimmy Stewart for governor. Ronald Reagan for best friend." Warner saw Reagan in a supporting role because that's how he had previously cast the actor: the boy next door to the male lead, the genial loser. In Dark Victory, Reagan plays a bon vivant alcoholic who loses Bette Davis to George Brent and a brain tumor. In the 1940 Santa Fe Trail, he is the young George Custer, who loses the girl to Errol Flynn's Jeb Stuart. When Warner Bros. got around to making an entire movie lionizing Custer, the 1941They Died with Their Boots On, Flynn was handed the part. But in early 1942, Reagan was announced for a lead role, with his frequent co-star Ann Sheridan, in a film version of the play Everyone Comes to Rick's. After the usual round of Hollywood casting roulette, however, Warner made the film without Reagan or Sheridan. The studio called it Casablanca.