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President Reagan's Hollywood Years

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President Reagan's Hollywood Years

There's no shortage of books on former President Ronald Reagan's history, from his birth in north central Illinois to his two terms in the White House. But there is a period of Reagan's life that is often glossed over, even in his own memoirs: his time in Hollywood. Reagan appeared in over 50 movies between 1937 and 1964. His best-known films are Bedtime for Bonzo, where he starred opposite a chimp, and Knute Rockne: All American, which gave him a signature line he'd use in his political career.

Reagan also headed up the Screen Actors Guild at a time of upheaval in Hollywood. He dealt with federal anti-communist investigations that led to the blacklist as well as the uncertainties created by the advent of television and the decline of the studio system. A new book called Reagan: the Hollywood Years explores how his experiences in Tinsel Town shaped the politician he would become. Author Marc Eliot says there are a couple of reasons we don't hear much about Reagan's Hollywood career.

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