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Ronald Reagan
1947-1952, 1959-1960

c. 1948: with Anna
Roosevelt, SAG
officer Gene Kelly
1942: King's Row
1960: at strike meeting with
Executive Secretary Jack Dales

August 11, 1941, 7046 Hollywood Blvd - Warner Bros. contract player, Ronald Reagan, attended his first Board meeting as an alternate for Heather Angel. His then-wife, actress Jane Wyman, was elected to the Board over a year later. World War II put Reagan's Guild involvement in a holding pattern, but he resumed as a Board alternate in February 1946, first for Rex Ingram, then Boris Karloff. In September, 1946, he was elected 3rd Vice-President, and would so impress the Board of Directors during the often-violent Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) strikes, that he'd move up to the Guild Presidency in six months.

At the March 10, 1947 Board meeting, resignations were accepted from President Robert Montgomery and six officers/Board members: James Cagney, Franchot Tone, Dick Powell, Harpo Marx, John Garfield, and Dennis O'Keefe, due to the Guild's new "conflict of interest" addition to the bylaws, recently voted in by the Guild membership. Gene Kelly nominated the absent Ronald Reagan for President. Kelly & George Murphy were nominated too, but Reagan won. Half-way through the meeting, Reagan - who had been at an American Veterans Committee meeting - arrived and was informed of the honor! He would serve a total of seven presidential terms, including six one-year terms elected by the membership in November 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1959.

Issues - Guild, national, and international - during Reagan's presidencies and board terms, 1946 - 1960, were among the most vast and complicated in the Guild's history, including, in addition to the CSU strikes: the Guild's first entirely new contract since 1937; passage of the labor-weakening Taft-Hartley act; the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings and the blacklist era; a severe decline in Hollywood film production, largely caused by both the exploding popularity of television and the 1948 "Paramount decree" which would bring an end to the "studio system"; the fall of mainland China to communism; the explosion of an atomic bomb by the Soviet Union; the Korean War; jurisdictional struggles over television; the MCA waiver; the Guild's first three strikes (1952-53, 1955, and 1960); the first residuals for filmed television programs; first residuals for films sold to television; and the creation of the pension and health plan.

In 1950, his future wife, actress Nancy Davis (whom he would marry on March 4, 1952), joined the Board, first as a replacement, and would serve with him for nearly 10 years. In June 1960, Reagan resigned his Guild Presidency, and Nancy's Board resignation followed in July.

After leaving acting, Ronald Reagan embarked on the most successful political career of any actor in history: two four-year terms as Governor of California, from 1966-1974, and election in 1980 for the first of two terms as President of the United States.

Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004 and is interred on the grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. There are several official websites, including:

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Archives