- NAME: Nancy Reagan
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, U.S. First Lady
- BIRTH DATE: July 06, 1921 (Age: 91)
- EDUCATION: Sidwell Friends School, Smith College, Girls Latin School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City, New York
- Full Name: Nancy David Reagan
- Originally: Anne Frances Robbins
- AKA: Nancy Reagan
- Maiden Name: Nancy Davis
- ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer
Best Known For
Nancy Reagan is a former first lady of the United States, the widow of Ronald Reagan, who founded the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign.
Barbara Bush - Full Biography (44:48)
Ronald Reagan - Full Biography (45:55)
A short biography of Nancy Reagan, who, after graduating from Smith College, moved to Hollywood to become an actress and met Ronald Reagan. As first lady, she launched the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign in 1982.
President Ronald Reagan lead the United States during the end of the Cold War and left an unforgettable legacy. He’s considered by many conservatives to be the greatest American President.
Barbara Bush is the first woman since Abigail Adams to be wife to one U.S. President and mother to another. As First Lady, she led a long crusade against illiteracy.
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States was a man who people loved or hated. His detractors saw him as a front man for wealthy interests, his advocates saw him as the leader who revitalized the American economy.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in New York City on July 6, 1921, Nancy Reagan is a former first lady of the United States, the widow of Ronald Reagan. She was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and '50s, and married then-actor Ronald Reagan in 1952. She served as first lady of California before moving into the White House. Her major initiative was the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign. After her husband contracted Alzheimer's disease,
"I see the first lady as another means to keep a president from becoming isolated."
"A woman is like a teabag—only in hot water do you realize how strong she is."
"I think people would be alive today if there were a death penalty."
"My life really began when I married my husband."
"A lot of what acting is paying attention."
"The movies were custard compared to politics."
"I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out."
she became a strong advocate for finding a cure.
Nancy Reagan's early life foretold nothing of the woman she would become. On July 6, 1921, Anne Frances Robbins, was born in New York City, the only child of Kenneth Robbins, a salesman, and Edith Luckett (Robbins), an aspiring actress. Early on, Anne acquired the nickname "Nancy." Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old. Edith sent Nancy to be raised by her aunt and uncle, Virginia and Audley Gailbraith, in Bethesda, Maryland. There, Nancy attended Sidwell Friends School until she was 7 years old. She and her aunt would travel to visit her mother whenever Edith was in New York for lengthy theater runs.
In 1929, Edith married a prominent Chicago neurosurgeon, Loyal Davis. Nancy joined her mother and in 1931, Loyal adopted Nancy changing her last name to Davis. In her new home, she was exposed to wealth and privilege, attending the Girls Latin School. She then studied drama at Smith College and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in drama in 1943.
After college, Nancy Davis worked as a sales clerk in Marshall Fields Department store in Chicago and later as a nurse's aide. With help from some of her mother’s friends, she eased into an acting career. Her first role was a non-speaking part in the touring company production of Ramshackle Inn. The play eventually made it to Broadway in New York City, where Nancy landed a minor role in the 1946 musical Lute Song, starring Yule Brenner and Mary Martin.
In 1949, Nancy Davis traveled to Hollywood and was given a seven-year contract with MGM Studios. But success didn’t come quickly. MGM found it difficult to cast her in the films they were making. Initially, she was typecast in minor roles such as the "loyal housewife" or the "steady woman." Her first films included The Doctor and the Girl with Glenn Ford, followed by East Side, West Side, with Barbara Stanwyck. She always said her favorite screen role was playing Mrs. Katherine Mead in Night into Morning, which stars Ray Milland.
By 1949, calls for parts had dried up. She noticed her name was listed on the Hollywood blacklist, which was established by the film industry to warn studios and producers of individuals suspected of being communist sympathizers. Nancy was not a communist and had no association with any communist organizations. The listing was of another actress with the same name. In November 1949, Nancy contacted Ronald Reagan, president of the Screen Actors Guild, to see if he could help. Both were immediately attracted to each other, and they soon began dating.
profile name: Nancy Reagan profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Breast Cancer Survivors 25 people in this group
Did you know that since 1912, nearly 50 million girls in the United States have joined the Girl Scouts? Girl Scouts helped an amazingly diverse array of famous women develop a strong foundation of courage, confidence and character. It's no surprise then that quite a few famous women spent time in the sash. Celebrities who got their start selling cookies and earning merit badges include Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter and actress/writer Carrie Fisher; former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan; Olympic skaters Bonnie Blair and Peggy Fleming; astronaut Sally Ride; and iconic women's rights activist Gloria Steinem. Browse our collection of inspiring famous Girl Scouts who have certainly earned merit badges in their fields.
Girl Scouts 45 people in this group
When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
Influential Women of Washington 73 people in this group