[78], The extensive redecoration was paid for by private donations. [106], In general, the first lady's desire for everything to appear just right in the White House led the residence staff to consider her not easy to work for, with tirades following what she perceived as mistakes. [123] On March 30 of that year, President Reagan and three others were shot by troubled 25-year old John Hinckley, Jr as they left the Washington Hilton hotel. Privacy Policy | Nancy Reagan — whose romance with husband Ronald Reagan took her from Hollywood to the White House — has passed away at the age of 94. You're President of the United States.’ We ran to the TV. [139] © 2020 Telepictures Productions Inc. The phone started ringing. • Anthony, Carl Sferrazza (2003). And the battle lines have been drawn with Nancy’s biological kids Ron, 54, and Patti Davis, 60, on one side versus their dad’s 67-year-old adopted son Michael on the other. [19] At the time of the adoption, her name was legally changed to Nancy Davis. [1][2][3][4][5] She was of fully English descent. [13][76] Many significant and long-lasting changes occurred as a result of the renovation and refurbishment, of which Reagan said, "This house belongs to all Americans, and I want it to be something of which they can be proud. Watch! "[124] She was escorted into a waiting room, and when granted access to see her husband, he quipped to her, "Honey, I forgot to duck", borrowing the defeated boxer Jack Dempsey's jest to his wife.[125]. America's Most Influential First Ladies. I don't really believe it was, but I don't really believe it wasn't. As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as The Next Voice You Hear..., Night into Morning, and Donovan's Brain. [83] In an attempt to deflect the criticism, she self-deprecatingly donned a baglady costume at the 1982 Gridiron Dinner and sang "Second-Hand Clothes", mimicking the song "Second-Hand Rose". [85] Her wardrobe included red so often that the fire-engine shade became known as "Reagan red". Estimate: $5,000-10,000. [140] Following the assassination attempt, she strictly controlled access to the president;[13][139] occasionally, she even attempted to influence her husband's decision making. "[115] Reagan concluded, "It was a perfect ending for one of the great evenings of my husband's presidency. [155] During the seven-day state funeral, Nancy, accompanied by her children and military escort, led the nation in mourning. [144] At the end of her time as First Lady, however, she said that her husband had not been well-served by his staff. [169] She returned to the library in Simi Valley for a sunset memorial service and interment, where, overcome with emotion, she lost her composure and cried in public for the first time during the week. She continued to reside at the Bel Air home, where she lived with her husband until he died on June 5, 2004.[155]. 110–111. [188], In March 2009, she praised President Barack Obama for reversing the ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. She was born in New York City. in Flushing", "Up Next for Nancy Reagan: tending her Ronnie's flame", "Forget the White House, Schwarzenegger Needs Digs Now", "First Family Moves Into California Governor's Mansion", "Reagan Panel Fills Arts Chief's Post After It Ousted Aide", "Ted Graber, 80, Decorator for Reagans, Dies", "Nancy Reagan To Run The White House In Grand Style, Social Pundits Say", "Word From Friends: A New White House Style Is on the Way", "ow Nancy Reagan Returned Unapologetic Glamour to the White House", "For Mrs. Reagan, Gifts Mean High Fashion At No Cost", "Nancy Reagan Gives Up Dress Designer Loans", "Why Mrs. Reagan Still Looks Like a Million", "IRS Looking into Gifts to Reagans; Borrowed Designer Dresses Subject of Tax Inquiry", "First Lady Expresses 'Regrets' on Wardrobe", "Nancy Reagan's Dress Blues: Borrowing Clothes From Top Designers May Be Chic, But Is It Proper? "[46] Nancy was known for the focused and attentive look, termed "the Gaze", that she fastened upon her husband during his speeches and appearances. After the funeral, Nancy Reagan was interred next to her husband. [57] The new residence was finished just as Ronald Reagan left office in 1975, but his successor, Jerry Brown, refused to live there. Ten days after the operation, her 99-year-old mother, Edith Luckett Davis, died in Phoenix, Arizona, leading Reagan to dub the period "a terrible month". This video tour of the couple’s beautifully appointed Ted Graber-designed home showcases some of its William Haines Hollywood Regency-style furniture and decorative works of art, being offered in the sale of The Private Collection of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. [149], After the surgery, more women across the country had mammograms, which exemplified the influence that the first lady possessed. [1][17] Nancy later described longing for her mother during those years: "My favorite times were when Mother had a job in New York, and Aunt Virgie would take me by train to stay with her. [68] Her influence on her husband became particularly notable; her presence at rallies, luncheons, and receptions increased his confidence. The Oliver Press. She chose to undergo a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy,[148] and the breast was removed on October 17, 1987. [163], After President Reagan revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994, she made herself his primary caregiver, and became actively involved with the National Alzheimer's Association and its affiliate, the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute in Chicago, Illinois. [13] Reagan first became aware of the need to educate young people about drugs during a 1980 campaign stop in Daytop village, New York. [131] She became so angry with Regan that he hung up on her during a 1987 telephone conversation. "[25] Her combination of attractive appearance—centered on her large eyes—and somewhat distant and understated manner made her hard at first for MGM to cast and publicize. And that's the way Washington works. When her mother remarried in 1929, she moved to Chicago and later was adopted by her mother's second husband. © 2020 Telepictures Productions Inc. It was President Carter, calling from Washington to concede the election and to congratulate Ronnie on winning. After the Reagan camp lost the Iowa Caucus and fell behind in New Hampshire polls, Nancy organized a second meeting and decided it was time to fire Sears and his associates; she gave Sears a copy of the press release announcing his dismissal. [39], Author Garry Wills has said that Davis was generally underrated as an actress because her constrained part in Hellcats was her most widely seen performance. Reagan defended her actions as being for the good of her family, a judgment with which her husband readily agreed. An early example of the first lady's protective nature occurred when Senator Strom Thurmond entered the President's hospital room that day in March, passing the Secret Service detail by claiming he was the President's "close friend", presumably to acquire media attention. [13] Both Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev had developed a productive relationship through their summit negotiations. She is doing her last thing for Ronnie. In his 1988 memoir, For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington, Regan wrote the following about Nancy Reagan's consultations with an astrologer: Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco [Quigley] who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise. "[28] Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon nevertheless characterized her as a "reliable" and "solid" performer who held her own in performances with better-known actors. In 1982, she revealed that she had accepted thousands of dollars in clothing, jewelry, and other gifts, but defended her actions by stating that she had borrowed the clothes, and that they would either be returned or donated to museums,[85][89] and that she was promoting the American fashion industry. The couple built the 4,700-square-foot ranch-style house on the Pacific Palisades property in 1953 and lived there for three decades. [166], Ronald Reagan died in their Bel Air home on June 5, 2004. [88], Fashion designers were pleased with the emphasis Reagan placed on clothing. [97] Although it was paid for by private donations, some from the private J. P. Knapp Foundation, the purchase generated quite a controversy, for it was ordered at a time when the nation was undergoing an economic recession. "[198], On March 6, 2016, Nancy Reagan died of congestive heart failure at the age of 94. [171] During the week, CNN journalist Wolf Blitzer said, "She's a very, very strong woman, even though she looks frail. The Crippler featured a sinister figure spreading over playgrounds and farms, laughing over its victims, until finally dispelled by the volunteer. [141], Beginning in 1985, she strongly encouraged her husband to hold "summit" conferences with Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and suggested they form a personal relationship beforehand. [187] In January 2009, Reagan was said to be "improving every day and starting to get out more and more". [57][58], In 1967, Governor Reagan appointed his wife to the California Arts Commission,[59] and a year later she was named Los Angeles Times' Woman of the Year; in its profile, the Times labeled her "A Model First Lady". "[96] Working with Lenox, the primary porcelain manufacturer in America, the first lady chose a design scheme of a red with etched gold band, bordering the scarlet and cream colored ivory plates with a raised presidential seal etched in gold in the center. We were very much in love and still are. ‘There’s a real soul to this house, and you get that sense when you come through the door,’ says Gemma Sudlow, a specialist in the Iconic Collections department at Christie’s, as she looks around the Bel Air home of President and Mrs Nancy Reagan, the 40th President and First Lady of the United States. Actress and First Lady of the United States, "Nancy Davis" redirects here. "[103], After the presidency of Jimmy Carter (who dramatically reduced the formality of presidential functions), Reagan brought a Kennedy-esque glamour back into the White House. [139] U.S. News & World Report opined, "after a decade in the shadows, a different, softer Nancy Reagan emerged. [117] She remarked in 1981 that "Understanding what drugs can do to your children, understanding peer pressure and understanding why they turn to drugs is ... the first step in solving the problem. Visiting the United States for the first time in 1987, Gorbacheva irked Reagan with lectures on subjects ranging from architecture to socialism, reportedly prompting the American president's wife to quip, "Who does that dame think she is? [15], She lived her first two years in Flushing, Queens, a borough of New York City, in a two-story house on Roosevelt Avenue between 149th and 150th Streets. [83] Friends and those close to her remarked that, while fashionable like Kennedy, she would be different from other first ladies; close friend Harriet Deutsch was quoted as saying, "Nancy has her own imprint.

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