NEW YORK- Nancy Reagan, the most fierce protector of former US president, Ronald Reagan has died a day before. Here is the voyage she has been through her whole life.
Born on July 6th, 1921 in the New York City she was named as Anne Frances Robbins and later was she granted the nickname of Nancy. Her father left the marriage during her infancy.
She was an actress by career. Her first role was a nonspeaking 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 Yul Brynner 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 1949 projects The Doctor and the Girl, with Glenn Ford, and East Side, West Side, with Barbara Stanwyck. She always said her favorite screen role was playing Mrs. Katherine Mead in 1951’s Night into Morning, which starred Ray Milland.
How she met the President is an interesting story. In 1949, her name had been listed on the Hollywood blacklist which comprised the names of those suspect of being communist sympathizers.
Nancy was not a communist nor had she any such association. So she called Reagan, the president of Screen Actor Guild for help in Nov, 1949. They immediately hit it off and after three years they got married.
As her husband became the governor of California, 1967 she became a prominent first lady of the state.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan became President of the United States and thus Nancy’s life started as the US First Lady. She was equally liked and disliked by the press and people of United States in this tenure but she won her opponent’s heart when championed drug abuse awareness and education. Her campaign was named as ‘Just Say No’ and led to the legislation,
“National Crusade for a Drug Free America” act, signed into law by President Reagan in October 1986. Continuing her efforts, Nancy addressed the United Nations General Assembly in 1988, speaking in support of strengthening international drug interdiction and trafficking laws. While all of this was going on, in October 1987, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a mastectomy.
But even more important role of the first lady was as the president’s personal protector. This partly grew out of the March 30, 1981 assassination attempt on his life. Thereafter, Nancy made it her concern to know all aspects of his itinerary, even employing the advice of an astrologer before his scheduled was finalized.
After the Reagans left the White House, the former first lady established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to support after-school drug prevention programs.
Following Ronald Reagan’s death in 2004, Nancy became an outspoken public advocate for stem-cell research, in opposition to President George W. Bush.
The former first lady and actress published several books during her lifetime: My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan (1989), I Love You Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan (2000) and Entertaining at the White House (2007).
Nancy Reagan died from congestive heart failure on March 6, 2016, at the age of 94. She will be laid to rest at the Reagan Presidential Library with her husband.