In Memoriam: Nancy Davis Reagan, 1921-2016

Ronald_Reagan_and_Nancy_Reagan_aboard_a_boat_in_California_1964

It was announced today that former First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan has died of heart failure in her California home. Born in 1921, Nancy had a brief Hollywood career before she married Ronald Reagan in 1952. Their marriage, which endured until Reagan`s death in 2004, was by all accounts a very close and loving one. They had two children of their own, as well as caring for Reagan`s adopted son and his daughter by his previous marriage (to Hollywood star Jane Wyman).

Although she never became a major star, Nancy Davis (as she was known during her acting days) made fine contributions to some very interesting movies. In East Side, West Side (1949), she played a kind and supportive friend who helps Barbara Stanwyck navigate the last stages of her troubled marriage to James Mason. Her other major roles include her performance as a psychiatrist in Shadow on the Wall (1950) and her turn as a typically American housewife in a film called The Next Voice You Hear… (1950). She also did some work on television through the early 1960s.

As First Lady, Nancy Reagan was active in anti-drug work, and undertook renovations inside the White House. When her husband became ill with Alzheimer`s, she devoted herself to caring for him, and after his death continued to be active in political and charitable endeavors.

Although people can and do hold differing opinions on the Reagans` politics, there is a heartwarming consensus from both sides of the political spectrum that Nancy Davis Reagan, like her husband, was a friendly and genuinely kind person who sought to help society at large when the power to do so was placed in her hands. The support and love she gave her husband, and her desire to help her fellow citizens, will remain an inspiration to all those who knew her or knew of her.

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