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What if Ronald Reagan was not elected Governor of California?


LiamCasey
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Ronald Reagan's final appearances as an actor were (for the movies) *The Killers* in 1964 and (for television) *Death Valley Days* in 1964 and 1965. And then he entered politics, was elected Governor of California in 1966 and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

But what if, by some odd twist of fate, Pat Brown won reelection to a third term that year and Ronald Reagan needed to return to the acting profession in order to earn a living? What movie (or even television show) since 1966 would you have liked to see him in and why?

 

Of course, in order to keep the universe in balance, Ronald Reagan would have had to play the President of the United States somewhere along the line. But even that leaves one with so many choices. Does he go down the action/adventure path and take over Andrew Duggan's role in *In Like Flint* in 1967? Or the thriller path and Charles Durning's role in *Twilight's Last Gleaming* in 1977? Or the comedy path and Jack Warden role in *Being There* in 1978? Or even the science-fiction path and Henry Fonda's role in *Meteor* in 1979 or E.G. Marshall's role in *Superman II* in 1980?

 

Considering the number of choices, it appears that Mr. Reagan would have had an easier time becoming the President of the United States in the movies! And probably with a lot less headaches!

 

P.S. When I asked this question regarding James Cagney three weeks ago, it was pure spur of the moment. And asking the same regarding Cary Grant two weeks ago was an obvious follow on. And then asking the same regarding Lassie last week was simply an attempt to entertain TopBilled in exchange for the enjoyment that I have gotten out of many of his (Or should that be "her"?) posts. But then TopBilled referred to this as a series of threads. A series? The thought of me doing a series of such threads had not occurred to me. And, considering the depth of knowledge that I have seen on this message board, I am probably the wrong person to attempt such a series. So, needless to say, I have my fingers crossed at this point.

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Yep! Another interesting "What If" question posed here, Liam.

 

Here's MY guess.

 

Ronnie would have made out okay, 'cause like "everybody knows", all ya gotta do is give the Fat Cats what they want and all the trappings of wealth would have just "trickled down" to him and every other B-List movie actor eventually...JUST like they have for everybody else since the '80s!!!

 

(...THIS of course is assuming that some OTHER guy could've sold that particular "economic model" to the public as well as HE did!)

 

ROFL

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Okay Liam, now that I've got THAT out o' the way...

 

(...excuse me while I "ROFL" just a bit longer here..........okay......I THINK I've stopped that now......no WAIT....ROFL....okay, sorry....NOW I'm done...don't ya just HATE IT when a guy laughs at his own material?)

 

I think your "Andrew Duggan" analogy is a good one. Yep, Ronnie, just like Duggan, would have probably guest-starred on many a '60s TV drama playin' the somewhat slightly clueless middle-aged characters that Duggan was always so good at.

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What if Ronald Reagan was not elected Governor of California?

 

Well, I hope he would still have left Death Valley Days, since I hated him for replacing The Old Ranger, who I loved.

 

More importantly, James Rector would not have been murdered by police following Ronnie's orders, and 100-200 other Berkeley students would not have been wounded by the police firing 00 buckshot at them, in People's Park. One bystander was blinded.

 

As to his acting career, yeah, he was a third rate actor, so he would have wound up doing more TV.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > 100-200 other Berkeley students would not have been wounded by the police firing 00 buckshot at them, in People's Park.

> Not true.

>

> Hey, does the 'NO POLITICS' rule of this board NOT apply to liberals?

 

Fred, you're right about "no politics," but I feel so strongly about this, that I couldn't fail to mention it. And, it IS true. The police admitted it.

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I read an article, or maybe it was some interview on a talk show I saw, where Ron Reagan Jr. said that if his dad had not gone into politics, he probably would've ended up like Robert Stack, hosting an Unsolved Mysteries type show in the 1980s. I don't know if he was joking, but it sounded plausible.

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As soon as I saw this topic title I knew it would be headed into a minefield. Perhaps the better title for this would have been "What if Ronald Reagan had continued his career as an actor and not entered a new line of work?" That said, and keeping all of the politics out of this, I would see Reagan playing a number of supporting actor roles, probably mostly on TV. His career was in decline since the early fifties, he was no longer a major draw with the public. Ronnie would have best been suited in authority roles like a police captain , doctor, or lawyer. I have a hard time seeing him in anything comic, but he could have played against type like others did in *Airplane* or some other spoof movie. That may have opened up new doors for him like it did for Lloyd Bridges or Robert Stack. But his chances of hitting on some major role would have been slim. He would have been lucky to get a supporting role on a series that would have made it big. Ronald Reagan never had anything close to the star power of a Cagney or Grant.

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>Fred, you're right about "no politics," but I feel so strongly about this, that I couldn't fail to mention it.

 

I see.

 

So Michael told you it was ok for you to break the NO POLITICS rule if you "feel strongly" about some issue?

 

Does that apply to everyone, or just to you?

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Ok fellas, lets just settle down and see if everyone can stay with the original point of this, "Does anyone see a specific movie or tv role that Ronald Reagan might have been suited for if he had stayed in the acting profession". Lets keep it in the spirit of the previous questions about James Cagney, Cary Grant, and Lassie (although I never thought Lassie retired, she just kept adopting new families). The bigger question is "can there be an honest discussion about Ronald Reagan the actor, and only about the actor?".

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Nov 24, 2012 10:38 PM

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> {quote:title=mrroberts wrote:}{quote}Ok fellas, lets just settle down and see if everyone can stay with the original point of this, "Does anyone see a specific movie or tv role that Ronald Reagan might have been suited for if he had stayed in the acting profession".

 

Okay, I'll skip the politics, and lighten up. Ronnie could have donned a chimp suit, to take the title role in the remake of *Bedtime for Bonzo*.

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Yeah, whatever Jake! But THAT wasn't the freakin' question here, dude!

 

Try to concentrate here, will ya ol' boy?! The question pretty much was: What if Ronnie stayed in the acting field?

 

(...okay...yeah, yeah, I know..."We'd all be speakin' Russian now", huh!!!!)

 

LOL

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>Try to concentrate here, will ya ol' boy?! The question pretty much was: What if Ronnie stayed in the acting field?

 

LOL, that's NOT what the question was. The question was: "WHAT IF RONALD REAGAN WAS NOT ELECTED GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA?"

 

Personally, on the acting side of it, I think if Reagan had stayed with TV and remained as a TV host on various programs, I think he would have remained very popular as a host and occasional TV actor. I think he should have remained as a nice-guy type. I think he was good in STORM WARNING, but I didn't like him in THE KILLERS. I liked him a lot as a TV host, especially of the Western programs.

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Okay Fred(and speakin' of "ol' boys" here)...LOL...

 

IF you read Liam's text in his opening post, THEN(and try to concentrate here) you would know that the CRUX of his "What if" supposition was EXACTLY what I just advised to your friend Jake that it WAS!!!

 

(...any other observations here...ol' boy???)

 

ROFL

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As I said below, had he not retired from acting, I think he would have remained a great TV host and occasional TV actor, especially in Westerns.

 

Lots of old movie stars became TV hosts and TV actors and had great careers in TV, after they retired from movies. Look at Loretta Young, for example.

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Fred wrote:"As I said below, had he not retired from acting, I think he would have remained a great TV host and occasional TV actor, especially in Westerns."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Yep Fred, maybe. But as you MAY recall, by 1980, Westerns were few and far between on TV.

 

And so if he might have primarily been hopin' for THAT kind of work, then I'd say Ronnie's acting career would have DEFINITELY "trickled down" to nothing by then.

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